The Covid Pandemic and School

While practicing as a school psychologist during the Pandemic, I learned several valuable lessons over the 3 years. Below are three that have contributed most significantly to my practice as a Special Education Consultant.

  1. First and foremost is the importance of meaningful personal connections. Working throughout the Covid-19 pandemic has had a profound effect on students, families, and staff. No one was able to interact in the same way and this loss of meaningful connections has had a devastating effect on mental health. School is a safe haven for so many students. The loss of connections with friends and trusting adults has had a significant impact on everyone. During all of this trauma, parents reached out to me for advice and students routinely shared how they felt overwhelmed and saddened by the loss of in-person time with teachers and friends. Though stories were different, the lesson to be learned was the same: Meaningful connections make a difference.
  2. The second most important thing that I learned was the importance of resilience. In my counseling with students K-12, I recognized how significantly this trait impacts a student’s ability to succeed both personally and academically. Therefore I regularly worked with students to facilitate the learning of coping skills and strategies. I witnessed on a daily basis how young people are able to adjust. Not all, of course, which is why counseling with a skilled and compassionate provider is such a valuable component of their education. Students, families, and staff often sought me out to talk about a variety of concerns. I believe that I make people feel comfortable and they know that I am a safe and confidential resource.
  3. The third most important thing that I learned about myself in the last few years is how much students suffer academically when they are not feeling supported by trusted adults in a safe environment. I witnessed even the brightest students struggle academically because of the uncertainty of world events. It reminded me that we often focus our attention towards academically weaker students but that many of our typically strong students will not be able to engage effectively with their education unless they feel safe and supported. This is a primary need of all students.
    Deirdre Rosenberg, M.S
    School Psychologist and Special Education Consultant