Sharon Young, teacher and Lifeline WA community champion, shares her perspective on returning for the new semester.

Heading back to school after holidays can be daunting for a lot of children and families. Throw in an extended break and a worldwide pandemic, and those feelings and fears can be exemplified ten-fold.

People often say we are in the same boat, but I think we are in the same storm and everyone’s boat is different. I went through Cyclone Tracey as a child, in a caravan, so my ‘boat experience’ was very different to someone living in a house. It’s the same now with COVID-19.

The boat you’re in is different to everyone else, and that’s why making the choice to send your children back to school needs to be your decision. I only know that for my students and their families, their health, safety and well-being is what’s most important. Teachers are here to keep your children safe.  My advice is to keep sailing, cruising, paddling or motoring along, just as long as you keep your own boat afloat.  

In different boats

For children, heading back to school after holidays is a time full of questions. Will my class be the same? Will my friends be there? Who will I sit with at lunch? What if I have no-one to talk to? What work will we be doing? Those first morning jitters will soon lessen as you see familiar faces around the school. Everyday routines start to reappear, and normality takes hold.

We can all feel overwhelmed at times, especially with the unknown and uncertainties of life at the current time.  For me, seeing those little faces (and not so little) will be a joy returning to the classroom. It is a different time to anything we’ve ever seen or experienced before. Your child’s, health, safety and well-being is our number one priority.  There are extra hands on deck within the majority of public schools to sanitize and clean surfaces thoroughly.  If you are planning to send your children back to school this week, know they are in good hands. 

Sharon Young – Teacher

For the latest information and advice for regarding COVID-19 and WA schools, please visit the following:

To talk to someone about how you’re feeling, call Lifeline 13 11 14.

Image credit: Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash
Image credit: Photo by Rebecca Georgia on Unsplash