Right now, it feels as though we’re all chomping at the bit. The novelty of quarantine has long since worn off and everyone just wants to get out. We’re tired of endless Netflix, tired of staying home, and tired of waiting for things to change. This is particularly true for the students who first witnessed their school year interrupted by COVID-19 and are now watching it trespass on their summer. With the weather warming up and some states beginning to ease their restrictions, it’s hardly surprising they’re getting restless.

Unfortunately, that’s not how pandemics work. COVID-19 will not simply vanish because people have grown bored, and medical experts have urged the public to use caution even with the newly relaxed guidelines. The truth is that while things are certainly getting better, it will be some time before life goes back to normal. We’re all going to need patience in the days ahead.

An Outlet for Energy

Just because students are stuck at home doesn’t mean there is nothing to do. On the contrary, our world is in tremendous need of helpers right now. The spread of COVID-19 has had countless negative effects on our culture. There’s been a rise in misinformation and propaganda. Many people still don’t know how to practice healthy hygiene, and there are individuals suffering from economic or emotional loss.

Your students have a unique opportunity to make a difference. Even from home, they can utilize their creative and critical thinking skills to supply real solutions for these problems. So, what do you say? Are you ready to put some of that restless energy to good use and lead your students toward positive change? Here are just a few ways you and your class can take a stand from home!

Prevent the Spread of Misinformation

People suffering from emotional stress often try to construct a narrative to make sense of their experiences. It’s a way of regaining control over the situation. As we’ve seen though, a narrative built on bad information can have serious consequences for those involved. Your students can help prevent the spread of misinformation by learning how to spot questionable material and responding with facts and reasoning. Using respectful discourse, have them construct and articulate well-researched presentations on COVID-19. They can then share these presentations with their friends and family, along with techniques for fact-checking their media.

Educate Your Community

It’s unfortunate, but there are many people who have still not educated themselves on how viruses like COVID-19 spread. Some don’t understand why masks are important, while others haven’t learned the proper way to wash their hands. Now is your students’ time to shine! Have them use educational resources like these to inform their community about the spread of germs. Learn how they pass from one person to the next and what unhealthy habits might contribute to their success. A simple lecture from your students could literally save lives!

Lend a Hand to Those in Need

While efforts to halt the spread of COVID-19 are necessary, they have had severe consequences for small business owners. Numerous merchants have had to shut their doors, and none are quite sure how they’ll financially recover once the quarantine is finally lifted. Your students can lend a hand by raising and donating money to entrepreneurs in their area. Organizations like Kiva.org are currently supplying business owners with lifesaving microloans to help them overcome the losses of COVID-19. Teach your students about the benefits of small investments, then have them work together to empower a local entrepreneur!

Send the Love in a Letter

There are many people who have been affected by the spread of COVID-19, but the elderly are particularly at risk. The strict measures put in place to protect them have left them more isolated than ever. What if your classroom could fill that void? Have your students cheer up senior citizens by sending them a letter, and maybe even learn more about the world in the process. Instruct students to ask their senior friends about life when they were a teenager and record their responses for posterity. As a bonus, letter writing can also help your students reduce their stress and strengthen their skills in English.

We hope you are all staying healthy and safe during this difficult time. For more free educational resources, or ideas on how to promote healthy SEL, simply follow this link!