August 2020 - 'THE NEW STANDARD'
By a student entering grade 12 in September, Calgary, AB

As a global community, we are going through something brand new to the current generations. At first, it was scary, and quickly evolved into an annoyance that held us back from our lives. The coronavirus became the new standard of living. After months of staying inside and being disconnected from physical interaction, the world began to spin again. However it felt different, masks were required, meters were put in place, and the new normal came to be. Now Alberta schools have officially decided that we should return, and learning would be back in session. Together we are all trying to go back to a life that was interrupted by COVID-19.

TO the students

As a student who had difficulty learning from a home environment, I am glad to return, but I know that this isn’t the case for everyone. Situational experiences will affect the willingness to once again change our lifestyles. Just because we are being given the opportunity to go back does not erase the capability to contract the illness.


Going back to school means connecting again, even if there are precautions in place. Students need to accept the new and change the standards for ourselves by accounting for another stressor that can affect our school work. We need to that realize we are different from most students in past because of the presented challenge. We may put more pressure on ourselves to achieve certain grades and obtain our pre-COVID lifestyle, but in reality, this isn’t a possibility. No person on earth has not been affected by this pandemic! 


Allowing yourself accommodation during these times is not a sign of weakness, instead, it shows strength. Let yourself adapt to the new normal and use the tools you have to succeed. The irony is that we all want to reconnect with each other, but still seem to lack the ability to communicate. Asking for help and expressing our fears to one another will unload the burden we individually feel to keep it all together.

We may put more pressure on ourselves to achieve certain grades and obtain our pre-COVID lifestyle ...

to the parents

... empathizing with each other's concerns will bring us closer together. 

We continue to need your support. Understand that there are more factors added to a student's plate which should be considered when parenting. If students aren’t certain about the outcome of going back to school, let them know that they are reasonable in their thoughts. Encourage us to continue health and safety practices used to flatten the curve.


Even if the school has begun again, your child should not be bubbling with their friends. Positive reinforcement should be used rather than projecting your own opinions on to your child. Calm discussions about their health and safety may encourage your child to use the precautions. 


This is new territory for all parties involved, which is why empathizing with each other's concerns will bring us closer together. Breaking the silence about how your child is coping with the new normal will help ease their anxieties.


Open up about how you feel about the pandemic, and consider that maybe we need more help during these times than you first imagined. Remember it is ok for us to be struggling. This is expected and a reasonable reaction.

TO the teachers

Please be even more patient than normal. It’s been around 6 months since students have been in a proper classroom or attended a full day of school. No doubt, the class focus level will be less than usual. Distractions will be presented and maybe even harder to ignore! However, practice makes permanent. :) 


Students will adapt and become more effective in their work. Have plans in place for pandemic related problems and this will make your students feel organized, better prepared and less stressed. Teaching staff don’t know what the future holds but they can control their readiness to handle issues. Allow students to get reacquainted with a classroom.


Don’t get frustrated during the first few weeks. It takes 30 days to create a habit, and if things still aren’t at par then take action. Students have a good understanding of what they need to succeed so it would be appropriate to ask for their input.

Above all, parents and teachers should work together to try and reach learning goals. We all want our youth to learn for their future using the tools available. School is extremely important and should still be implemented even during global issues. We need to try and be as safe as possible by listening to the rules put in place. 


We need to collectively realize that the mental health of a student is just as important as their education. Their learning performance will be influenced by how they feel. This should be just as significant of a priority as learning itself. It will take time to get back to normal, whatever that is.  Both the education and the well being of students need to be considered when returning to school.


After all, aren't we in this together?

We need to collectively realize that the mental health of a student is just as important as their education. Their learning performance will be influenced by how they feel.

More confidence. more achievement. more resilience. more peace.

Suite 400, 119 14th Street NW
Calgary, AB T2N 1Z6
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