News Detail

Jane Simoni talks to King 5 about student anxiety when returning to the classroom.

How to manage back-to-school anxiety for students returning to classrooms

Kids in western Washington are returning to classrooms, some for the first time in over a year. Here's what to know if your child has back-to-school jitters.

by Brit Moorer

SEATTLE — Students across western Washington are returning to the classroom this month. After a year of isolation, mental health experts say some students may be struggling with the idea of heading back to school.

”I think young people, in particular, are very resilient," said University of Washington Psychology professor Jane Simoni. "It's natural for them to be around other people their age."

Heading back to school this time will feature masks, social distancing and hybrid education. Simoni said it’ll be a step-by-step process for kids and adults.

"It is something we're gonna have to get used to, again, being around people and, and interacting with them in kind of a normal way again,” said Simoni.

Simoni said we'll have to relearn normalcy. 

"I say it's like riding a bike. You don't forget it, you do go back and do remember how to talk to people,” said Simoni.

While some kids will bounce back and welcome the idea of heading back to the classroom, others may struggle.

"For some kids, it won't be as easy and it won't be as resilient,” said Simoni.

Simoni suggests parents consistently check in with their kids.

"Look for signs of that for kids that are really refusing to go to school, really aren't engaging in activities they used to enjoy," explained Simoni. "It's affecting the sleep while they're eating, they might have a more serious emotional problem, and might need to have professional help."

While we all adjust to life during a pandemic, Simoni said we should find comfort in knowing, we’re all in this together.

"That is going to make it a little bit easier to come out of this, this wasn't an individual traumatic event, it was something that happened to all of us,” said Simoni.