As teachers and mentors, it is crucial to ensure that students know the risks of the Coronavirus and how to stay safe. The COVID pandemic is serious and won’t become less of a threat to our health in the very near future. When it does become safer to travel and move around more freely, we will still need to be careful and take essential precautions.
That is why teachers must do their part to keep the next generations informed and safe.
There are several important points to remember when talking to children about COVID safety. Here are some of them.
Find Out How Much the Students Know
Before talking to students about COVID safety, it is good to know exactly what they know and think about the situation.
Children likely hear a lot of things on the news, television, and social media sites. Take into consideration what they could be told and then plan how to talk to them.
Ask questions that are appropriate to the children’s age. Make sure they understand what the coronavirus is and how it affects people’s lives.
Children react to what adults say and how they say it. It is vital that teachers don’t reveal any negative feelings towards what they’re discussing. This could lead to stigma or bad attitudes.
Reassure the students that they are safe, as long as they adhere to the laws put in place to protect them. Teachers can share their own experiences with the students to help them relate and see them in a new light.
Provide Honest and Accurate Information
A lot of misinformation is being shared about the COVID 19 pandemic and the virus. Teachers should do what they can to dispel misconceptions and give their students accurate and honest information.
Children can be scared by what they hear from other grown-ups. But if a respected teacher can give them factual information, they should be better equipped to deal with the situation.
Teach Safety Measures
Teachers should show their students how to reduce the spread of germs. Give children all the information they need to prevent getting into contact with the coronavirus.
Remind children to practice good hygiene and keep a distance between themselves and other people, especially those who show symptoms. Students should also be taught to keep their masks on at all times, including when they cough or sneeze.
If the school provides them other safety tools like portable COVID desk guards, give instructions on how to use and maintain them. Give gentle reminders that such tools are only effective if they are used properly.
Give Them Time and Space
Don’t drown the children in information that may be too hard for them to process. Give them what they can handle at a time and build on that information over time. Let the children digest the information and make sure they know they have a safe place if they need it.
It’s natural for children to worry about their loved ones more than themselves, don’t take that away from them. Let them know it’s normal to stress and use it to make them see the importance of following health rules.
When it is evident that the children need space so they can process what they have learned, give it to them. Be there, but don’t breathe down their necks.
Keep the Conversation Going
Continuously check in with the students and stay updated on how they feel and how they see the situation. The virus can also be used to teach children about their immune systems and how it fights off diseases.
Have an ongoing conversation about the pandemic so that the children have someone to talk to if something upsets or confuses them. This way, they’ll cope better with the situation.
Teachers have an important role in teaching children about COVID safety. By talking to students carefully about critical information, we can all help reduce transmission within our community and be one step closer to a healthier and safer school.