What do School Administrators Expect From School Counsellors in a Post-pandemic World?

The covid 19 pandemic has brought many changes in how we do things. The pandemic brought about a ‘new normal’ that included children staying at home and learning via online mode. Huge changes made their way into a pandemic world. Lectures and classes were conducted via online platforms for almost two years. Even examinations were conducted online. However, these changes made their impact in a post-pandemic world.

First, the student became increasingly comfortable with the online mode. Then, going back to the offline mode and attending classes on the school campus was challenging for many students. The transition from online to offline mode is hard, and children were expected to make this transition while they went back to school. In addition, many children were attending school on-campus for the first time. After a familiar situation with online classes, the unfamiliarity of offline classes was heavy on these children. The school administrators alone cannot handle this transition alone. They would require school counsellors who can help these children transition from the online to the offline mode by offering them the space to settle down and familiarise or refamiliarise themselves with the surroundings. In addition, they can help curate innovative and creative ways to help provide the children with the scope for adjustment.

Students can face anxiety issues owing to the social situations they did not have to face for almost two years. The school counsellors can help these students calm down and help them regulate their emotions well. School administrators would require counsellors who understand the gravity of the feelings a student can go through while they are made to incorporate huge changes in their lives. Secondly, it is evident that some children, if not most, must be under shock or the trauma of a pandemic that raged worldwide. In addition, they might have gone through personal experiences with covid, which can cause trauma and PTSD issues in a child. Such children may not be able to deal with unpredictable situations well.

The school administrators can work hand in hand with school counsellors to build a trauma-informed classroom with well-structured and planned lessons and activities. The classroom culture, in general, must be developed so that it has only a positive and sensitive impact on the children. Thirdly, school administrators can expect the school counsellors to provide a safe emotional bridge for the students. They need to take on the responsibility for the emotional health of each child that approaches them and the overall emotional health of the children. Children were used to a private space in online mode, where they attended the classes alone. In an offline structure, the students will be required to sit with children from different backgrounds, and for first-timers, this can get emotionally taxing. As a result, school counsellors need to consider each child’s mental health and emotional capacity.

Lastly, school counsellors will be expected to bring out the best in each child. The pandemic had pressed pause on the entire world, and the holistic development of children was also affected. Since they had become accustomed to a closed environment, it is only natural that the children had developed a shell around them, afraid to take risks and do something different or not knowing how to. The school counsellors can take the guidance of the school counsellors to help build emotional stability within the students so that they can come out of their shells and aim for overall development. They can also help students amplify their voices and fine-tune their leadership skills. They can encourage students to take up volunteering work and also help them pursue their passion. The post-pandemic world is difficult and confusing for children as they transition from an online set-up they were comfortable with to the big scary offline world. However, if the school administrators and the school counsellors work together to understand the emotional needs of the children, the world can become a less scary space and the school can become their safe haven.

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