COVID-19 has recently impacted many areas of human life. From political, social, to economic areas, everyone has suffered at the hands of coronavirus. Although, it is not the first time that a pandemic such as COVID-19 has taken the world by storm. There have been many incidents in the past that changed the history of the world, forever. All of these incidents had massive consequences that stayed with us for a long time, for instance, the great depression. Such incidents have a deep impact on the mental health of people who are going through it. From entrepreneurs to shop vendors, everyone is suffering during these hard times.
Student mental health is of great importance when it comes to productivity, performance, and grading. COVID-19 has been extremely tough on students as many find it hard to deal with the online transition. There have been several issues that students are dealing with, that may end up having a bad impact on their overall performance. Students in first world countries may find it easier to transition from traditional learning to online one, but students in developing countries are still getting a hang of it. Not only that but other things attached to this virus have negatively impacted the mental health of students.
Our recent survey showed that despite the convenience of studying from home, students are dealing with severe mental health issues and are finding it hard to adjust to the new settings. Student mental health should always be a priority of teachers; therefore, teachers must take necessary measures to keep student mental health in check. Here are a few things teachers can do to boost student mental health;
1- Reduce Academic Work
One thing that most teachers fail to understand is that the changed mode of learning has an impact on the student’s learning pace as well. Therefore, a lesson that students would understand within an hour in the classroom may take more time in self-quarantine. Apropos to that, teachers may want to go easy on students and reduce workload. Despite having a lot of free time, the productivity level of students may reduce at home and they may find it hard to keep up with the class. Tight deadlines and workload may cause students extreme stress and have an adverse effect on their overall grade.
2- Don’t Pressurize them
As mentioned earlier, the productivity level has decreased during the quarantine. The worst thing a teacher can do is stress out a student who is already having a hard time adjusting to a new learning setting. Therefore, teachers may want to reduce work pressure and allow the students to make mistakes. Give your students multiple chances and a longer time to complete their assignments. This way students would feel more energized, motivated, and driven to complete their work within the assigned time.
3- Explain Assignments Properly
One of the weak points of online classes is ambiguous instructions. There is no proper teaching design or model, therefore students find it hard to understand assignment instructions. The best way to assign work to students is by emailing them in the guidelines in a written form. The writing should be concise and clear. While it may seem like a simple task, it is an integral part of establishing a proper footing in writing. Before beginning to write about any given topic, understand it thoroughly, and research the topic methodically. Look for the key verbs while writing each sentence since certain words direct the reader to think about the topic in a certain way and divert your attention toward specific key points listed. Structure your paragraphs and sentences in such a way that alludes to a logical flow of speech while sounding formal. Division of the word count into separate sentences will allow the students to easily read through the instructions instead of skimming through. Emphasize the word count to restrict yourself from overwriting, and prohibit yourself from using complex metaphors.
4- Communicate with Students
One of the best ways to keep the mental health of students in check is to stay in touch with them. During the lock down, students may feel isolated and disconnected, and talking may help them feel better. Teachers should create a friendly and healthy environment in their live classes so that students feel comfortable talking about different subjects. Another thing teacher can do is communicate with students after the class through email or other applications. This after class conversations would form a healthy bond between teachers and students, reducing student stress and study pressure.
5- Give Them Breaks
Long screen time can make students sleepy and bored. Teachers may want to allow their students to have small breaks where they can take a walk around, eat something, or just do something fun to refresh their brains. Breaks are extremely important to boost class productivity. These breaks would reduce student stress and make them feel more energized and enthusiastic to attend the live class.