Something I’ve learned about today’s youth is that their dealings with mental health are no longer as stigmatized as when I was young. And while it’s great to see kids feel comfortable talking about their struggles and receiving the help they need, it’s troubling to me to see just how many young people are struggling.
As a teacher of high school students at Destinations Career Academy of Colorado (CODCA), I have heard a lot of my students discuss their struggles with anxiety and depression since the start of the pandemic. But with that being said, I’ve seen how online learning has positively impacted and improved their mental health as we’re progressed through this global challenge.
Despite online learning being entirely…online, obviously…interacting with peers who are going through similar scenarios and teachers who can act as a support system can pull students out of abject isolation. In the following list, I dispel some preconceived notions of online learning and how the format can actually improve a student’s mental outlook.
Consistent socialization. The online, synchronous classroom setting has provided a consistent social aspect for my students in their day-to-day lives. I told them every day throughout the stay-at-home order how thankful I was to have our live classes so that I could still meet with them and talk with them on a daily basis. I think it helped give us all that human interaction we needed, especially when our face-to-face interactions (even with strangers) were so limited.