Hello Upham Community,
I have no doubt you are in the middle of balancing your own work and attending to the WPS 2.0 online teaching and learning. I wanted to share some items from the school psychologists and nurses as we move forward. Please be safe. I know emotions are running high and patience is running low. Hang in there. Please pay close attention to the Kids’ Sadness About COVID-19 grid below. Some of the descriptors may help you navigate the different situations your children may be presenting. If you need assistance please do not hesitate to reach out to me. Please hang in there. As Mrs. Eccher says, “Find things that make you happy.”
Dare to Dream,
We have now had the chance to be a part of classroom meetings and check in with some of your children and it is wonderful to see them. Children are sharing a range of feelings about this time of social distancing. While we have heard many students share stories about the fun activities they are doing with their families, they are also expressing feelings of sadness related to missing their familiar routines and their friends.
Many of us are experiencing some degree of sadness right now. We are missing our “normal” lives and anticipating more changes to come. David Kessler, a grief expert, believes that what we are feeling can be understood as a form of collective grief and understanding the grieving process can help us better cope with this experience. Kessler is interviewed in an article entitled, The Discomfort You’re Feeling is Grief by Scott Beranato in the Harvard Business Review:
People are feeling any number of things right now. Is it right to call some of what they’re feeling grief?
Kessler: Yes, and we’re feeling a number of different griefs. We feel the world has changed, and it has. We know this is temporary, but it doesn’t feel that way, and we realize things will be different. The loss of normalcy; the fear of economic toll; the loss of connection. This is hitting us and we’re grieving. Collectively. We are not used to this kind of collective grief in the air.
What can individuals do to manage all this grief?
Understanding the stages of grief is a start. But whenever I talk about the stages of grief, I have to remind people that the stages aren’t linear and may not happen in this order. It’s not a map but it provides some scaffolding for this unknown world. There’s denial, which we say a lot of early on: This virus won’t affect us. There’s anger: You’re making me stay home and taking away my activities. There’s bargaining: Okay, if I social distance for two weeks everything will be better, right? There’s sadness: I don’t know when this will end. And finally, there’s acceptance. This is happening; I have to figure out how to proceed. Acceptance, as you might imagine, is where the power lies. We find control in acceptance. I can wash my hands. I can keep a safe distance. I can learn how to work virtually.
While many children are also feeling some sadness, that sadness may not be easily recognizable. Here is a graphic to help understand how children’s behavior may provide clues about their feelings:
Please remember to go to the Wellesley Public Schools Remote Learning Website and check out the ‘School Psychologists’ page where you will find many resources to support the social-emotional needs of your children during this unusual time: https://sites.google.com/
As always, feel free to connect with the school psychologist at your school. We are available to answer questions, provide resources, and help problem-solve.
Megan Cassidy, Hunnewell
Lisa Goodman, Hardy
Sharon Grossman, Fiske
Rebecca Hoitash, Upham
Scott Marder, Sprague
Kayla O’Brien, Hunnewell
Rebecca Robert, Schofield
Kathryn Stanley, Bates
Terry Weksel, Preschool At Wellesley Schools (P.A.W.S.)
The content in this email was compiled with the help of these sources:
The pdf below is a Seasonal Allergy letter from the WPS Nurses.