It is in no way a normal return to school today for the Sandy Hook Elementary school students. However, it is a new beginning for the students and teachers in a new school filled with renewed hope of safety and continued learning.
The Associated Press reported this morning that, “The Newtown schools superintendent says preparations have been made for a "normal" day, yet it will likely be anything but that as classes resume for Sandy Hook Elementary School students for the first time since a gunman killed 20 of their classmates.With their original school still being treated as a crime scene, the students will begin attending classes at a refurbished school in the neighboring town of Monroe on Thursday. Law enforcement officers have been guarding the new school, and by the reckoning of police, it is "the safest school in America."
Still, Newtown Superintendent Janet Robinson said officials will do their best to make the students feel at ease.
"We will go to our regular schedule," she said. "We will be doing a normal day." Full article at http://www.politico.com/story/2013/01/sandy-hook-students-have-first-cla...
As a clinical psychologist I agree that returning to routine is essential for students and teachers.
It will not be an easy road back for the community of Sandy Hook Elementary school. We cannot put a timeframe on healing from a trauma as frightening as this shooting. We must however be supportive of the parents, students and teachers needs as healing begins.
Here are 4 tips for parents, students and teachers in Newton, CT.
1. It is extremely important for parents and teachers to be observant of what the children are saying and how they are behaving both at school and when they return home today.
2. Address questions as they come up. You do not want to keep bringing up the shooting to the children if they do not mention it. That will only lead to more panic and perhaps obsessive thoughts.
3. If the child says they miss a particular child, you could reply with, “It’s okay to miss your friend. He or she will always be with us in our hearts.”
4. Parents and teachers do not forget about you. You are human too and have feelings as well. Acknowledge those fears to yourself and process them. We are more effective with our children when we are true to ourselves.
Superintendent Janet Robinson seemed to say it best yesterday when she stated "We want to get back to teaching and learning.” "We will obviously take time out from the academics for any conversations that need to take place, and there will be a lot of support there. All in all, we want the kids to reconnect with their friends and classroom teachers, and I think that's going to be the healthiest thing." http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/01/01/sandy-hook-back-to-...