Dr. David Benson | March 17, 2020
Our students are not doing well. They are grieving their semester. They have friends they didn’t get to say goodbye to. They have friends they may never see again. They have boyfriends and girlfriends they had to instantly leave, not knowing that they wouldn’t see each other again. This might be the last semester of their senior year and it has just vanished. They were uprooted from their homes and transported back to some place they had left behind.
They are nervous about the state of the world. Their parents, grandparents. Themselves. They packed up their bags last week thinking they were coming back in two weeks. Now they aren’t. Everything has changed.
They are nervous. They are anxious and they don’t really know why. They don’t want to read. They don’t want to write papers. They can’t focus. And this all is perplexing because it’s beyond their typical way of being and interacting with school.
They have been working their entire lives for this sports season and now it’s gone. Hours and hours of training. Pain upon pain. And nothing to show for it. What a loss. What a waste of time, effort and pain. Grief.
They might be good at school. They’ve been good since they were young. Some love class. They learn in class. Some of them love it. And now we have changed the rules of the game. They are worried and scared that what they’ve worked for all this time is going to go away.
They are sad. Sad for the people and families that are being directly affected by the virus. Sad for their senior friends they may never see again. Sad for their parent’s business that is struggling. Sad and overwhelmed by the loss of consistency in their lives.
Our students are not doing well. What’s the first stage in grief? Is that where they are now? What’s coming next?
What can we do to give them the time and space they need to process and succeed?