There are a lot of different ways that counselors can help students during this time of the COVID-19 pandemic and distance learning. We have all been adapting our roles to online platforms as we can no longer meet with our students in person or teach SEL lessons like we used to, but students need us now more than ever as they are required to deal with a new and scary virus that is hard for many adults to deal with, not to mention that they are being asked to do work on an online platform most have never used before, and stresses that were in their home before the pandemic are as obvious as ever.
I want to encourage you to explore how you can be intentional about each of these areas as you work with your students. I have posted food resources, counseling resources, etc. on my school page for students and parents to access. I have been calling students that I had been meeting with prior to schools closing to find ways to gain parental consent to meet with students over video chat or over a google voice number that allows me to keep my own phone number private (see more here: https://www.howtogeek.com/170940/8-reasons-you-should-be-using-google-voice-if-youre-american/) I adjusted my previous group counseling curriculum to be interactive over video chat and scheduled times with my groups to meet together online. I am also checking in on students with 504’s, have had a suicide assessment in the last couple of months, and anyone that teachers have struggled to get a hold of in order to encourage their students to begin their online coursework.
I wanted to share some of the resources I shared with families regarding COVID-19. I know that a lot of students are confused, worried, and frightened so I wanted to share anything that might help educate our students and their families and to provide resources to help manage the concerns and worries of their children. It’s so important for us to provide resources for parents in order for them to cope with the changes and concerns revolving this virus; children learn how to deal with what is going on around them from their parents, so the better parents handle this time the better their children will as well!
This is what I shared on my page with parents:
Here you will find several resources for parents and students in regards to concerns surrounding COVID-19. Please remember that children are very perceptive and can sense the stress and confusion surrounding all of the changes we have been experiencing, not to mention that they are undergoing a huge transition from learning at school with their teachers and friends to learning online with the help of loved ones. Mental health, social emotional learning, and checking in on the feelings, worries, and understanding of our children of all that is going on around them is a priority. I hope these resources are helpful and I encourage you to utilize the resources around you at this time.
Here you will find some great insight on how to talk to kids about COVID-19 & how to address anxiety/worries that arise in response to this virus.
https://childmind.org/article/talking-to-kids-about-the-coronavirus/ (Links to an external site.)
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/managing-stress-anxiety.html (Links to an external site.)
The following website provides a great resource for students to learn more about COVID-19
Counselors, I understand that our roles during this time may vary drastically. I would love to hear what you have been doing during this time to help our students! Please share below!