The COVID-19 pandemic has the capacity to affect every person in the world. Its immediate effects and long-term impact is still unknown. But, one thing is for sure. Life is different today than it was before the pandemic.
The world has changed since the day we shut the doors of our schools and community-based agencies. Kids have changed. Families have changed. Communities have changed. Life will never be what it was before COVID-19.
It’s still unknown when we will be able to open our doors and welcome kids and families back. But, when the time comes, we need to be ready…ready to respond.
Anticipating and preparing for the issues and needs kids and parents will have when they walk through your doors again is one of the most important things you can be doing right now. Now is the time to get yourself, your staff and your organization ready to respond. If you don’t think or plan ahead now, you will find yourself in a state of reaction later. And, there’s a big difference between a reaction and a response…
- A reaction is typically quick. A response takes time.
- A reaction happens without much thought. A response is thought out.
- A reaction is emotion-filled. A response is calming.
- A reaction is often aggressive. A response is non-threatening.
- A reaction can snowball into unnecessary and prolonged periods of discontent and disagreement. A response resolves conflict quickly.
What you do in the days and weeks to come will determine whether you respond or react. Take time to learn all you can about the immediate and long-lasting effects living through this pandemic can have on kids. Stretch the limits of your abilities and engage in learning new methods and skills that will better serve your students and families. Push the boundaries of your creative capacities and “think outside the box” when it comes to new programs, curricula and services you may need to offer. Be ready to re-think, re-learn, re-evaluate, re-flect, re-invest and re-spond.
In the coming weeks and through a series of webinars and masterclasses, I’m assembling some of the best experts whose combined wisdom, scientific thinking and on-the-ground experiences will help you develop your preparedness response plan. Look for more information coming your way and be sure to reserve one of the limited seats for yourself.
No one really knows how serious the impact of COVID 19 will be. But, the saying, “What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger”, isn’t always true. What doesn’t kill us often leaves its mark – whether it’s physical or psychological. The coronavirus will undoubtedly leave its mark on a generation of kids. Some will likely be alright — but others won’t be. Will you be ready to respond when it becomes obvious who they are?