While schools have not just started yet in Greece and in many European countries, some important guidelines for the upcoming school year are emerging as the Covid_19 pandemic continues. Here in Greece, masks are now compulsory in all closed spaces and measures are constantly changing to manage the spread f the virus. Come September, pupils and teachers may be required to wear masks and maintain social distance as much as possible during the school day, just like it already applies in many countries worldwide.
Below are some tips I think may come in handy for a successful new academic year during COVID_19.
1. Face masks
Teach your child to wear their masks properly. For optimal hygiene show them how to remove it from the ear strap and encourage them not to touch it too much (I know that’s really hard, even for adults). If they are very young, encourage them to practice wearing masks for short periods at home but especially when they are out in public. Once school starts provide your child with an extra mask for school. It is important that children hear from their family that masks are one of the best ways to protect ourselves and others from getting COVID-19. Check out some super cute masks here that may make your child not want to take their mask off!
2. Have Conversations
Talk to your children, in an open and age-appropriate way to help them know they are not alone and that we’re all in this together. They need to understand that adults are searching for adults and everyone is doing their best to ensure safety. Being flexible is very important in this time of COVID-19 and we need to be ready to do as advised by the World Health Organisation as new insights emerge. Make your child understand that anyone can get the virus, no matter where they are from in the world or how old they are. This is imperative to reduce any potential stereotypical ideas being formed and to ensure both compassion and equity amongst us.
3. Washing Hands
Establish consistent house rules about hand washing, including every time before any family member comes into the home from outside, after going to the bathroom, as well as before and after eating. Show them how to wash their hands properly and for how long. Having your child get used to such routines will make it easier for them to remember to continue doing so in school. Make sure they have a hand sanitizer with them so they can sanitize their hands whenever they need to.
Schools have always insisted on labelling belongings but now it’s more important than ever. In order to avoid contamination and spreading it is important that everyone keeps their belongings to themselves and don’t share with others. Having your child’s name clearly labelled and easily seen will make sure it is not easily shared, plus you will help the teacher keep an extra eye out too. We were taught sharing is caring, but in these unprecedented times sharing is uncaring.
5. Build resilience
Help your child become resilient to changes. This academic year may possibly be different to last year and online learning may or may not be something they encounter again if there are other lockdowns– who knows? We are living in times of uncertainty and preparing your child to embrace change is important. Not only will you be helping them get through uneasy times but you will be equipping them with life skills to cope with difficult situations whilst growing up.
I hope these help you prepare for a new, exciting and most probably different academic year ahead!
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Till next time…
Thank you! I am rather confused about the new school year just because our school has not yet provided details.
I suppose that my child’s current class will be divided into two subgroups, so it is possible that the timetable will be significantly different. But no detailed instructions have been provided yet, although it is time.
Of course, the ritual of washing hands and wearing a mask are mandatory things that all mothers probably taught their children. But I faced the problem that my youngest son does not yet understand that besides wearing masks it is necessary to keep a distance and also to behave a little differently – not to play with the same toys, not to share food, etc. I very much hope that this semester the schoolchildren will have special lessons on the rules of conduct in the current situation to remind them of this constantly.
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Every one is confused about the new school year, it’s not just you. No details have been provided for us as teachers just yet from the government – we are waiting on that – and we’re back next week. What I know so far is that in Greece, the government is going to provide all pupils and teachers with face masks as that is going to be compulsory for all.
Like you rightly mentioned washing hands will continue but playtime will most certainly be interesting and hard to maintain social distancing with young children. It’s hard for them to understand but then again children as surprisingly adaptive, far more so that adults sometimes.
We do have some lessons already planned and we will be drilling the children (and possibly some adults)about the correct use of face masks, social distancing and washing hands. It’s the only thing we can do for now to protect ourselves and others.
Everything will unfold in due course. Stay safe and continue to be so wonderfully organized!
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