Can you see a change in behaviour since the pandemic?
Schools across the country say they’re seeing an uptick in disruptive behaviours. Some are obvious and visible, like students trashing bathrooms, fighting over social media posts, or running out of classrooms. Others are quieter calls for help, like students putting their head down and refusing to talk.
The behaviour issues are a reflection of the stress the pandemic placed on children, experts say, upending their education, schedules, and social lives. For students dealing with grief, mental health issues, or the layered effects of poverty and racism, big transitions can be even more challenging.
Anxiety and chronic stress also trigger a child’s “survival brain,” as Raviv put it. While some students retreat, others feel like they’re on high alert — turning a nudge in the hallway into cause for an outburst, for example. “You can get these really big reactions over really small things,” she said.
Coupled with staff exhaustion, the behavior challenges are making school environments more tense than educators and students had anticipated — and underscoring how much support students need right now.
Research and feedback suggests that staff are exhausted and are finding it hard to engage with their children.
'its like people have forgotten to socialise'
We need to think of more creative ways of engaging with our young people.
We offer a variety of training courses and resources that can help.