40 days left behind in face-to-face training. Returning to classes after a year and a half, teachers talked about the change in their students. The first 40 days of face-to-face training started on September 6th. Teachers list the main problems of adaptation to school seen in students as follows:
“They are individualized, they cannot make eye contact because they are used to the computer, they are hungry for social relations, but on the other hand, their emotional and social development has slowed down, they have difficulty in doing homework, they cannot get used to teamwork, their attention is reduced, they have discipline problems, they forgot.”
The first, 5th, 9th and 10th grades experience the greatest difficulty. The first priority of educators these days is to develop children’s social and emotional skills. Academic development comes later.
Barış Durmuş, a teacher at Üsküdar SEV Primary School, Pınar Turan, the deputy principal at Sezin Middle School, Sebahat Başusta and Tuğçe Kılıç, Guidance Department Heads at Bilfen High School and Primary Schools explained in detail the problems they observed in students:
“Their attention and discipline has decreased. Both teachers and parents different from the current one and take action accordingly. We also see that student’s spending time at home with his elders for a long period of time, psychological effects of the pandemic process and deaths of relatives because of the COVID-19 reduced the parent’s influence and dicipline on children. Students who are free in terms of boundaries, rules and responsibilities at home try to impose the same rules at school.
The childern are individualized. They forgot the necessity of sharing a common space. We encountered children who looked, evaluated and acted more individually. This caused difficulties in terms of attitude towards his friends and general rules. Children think of themselves first, they have adopted a selfish attitude. They are very individualized and selfish in their friendships. We need to move forward in social issues such as living in a group, obeying the rules, listening to lessons in the classroom, empathizing, waiting in line in the community, being self-organized, and being able to maintain attention for a long time.
They cannot make eye contact. The fact that they had a course at home alone, in front of the computer, without making eye contact, where they could sit and get up whenever they wanted, can be counted as the main reason for this situation we are facing right now. While computer screens were an environment where we tried to keep them away, they had to sit in front of the computer for eight hours with the pandemic. We are now working to help them learn in the classroom and maintain eye contact with the teacher throughout the lesson. We see that children accustomed to listening to lectures on the computer do not make eye contact.
Their emotional and social development has slowed down. No matter how supportive their parents are at home, children have developed new attitudes. They behave behind the age they should be, especially in younger age groups. Older children are more prepared to adapt. Their biggest shortcomings are peer interaction, conflict management, bilateral communication skills and field activities.
They cannot prepare for the lesson. It was observed that the students had difficulty in getting instructions compared to the pre-pandemic period, they questioned the school rules more, objected, acted reactively, and needed more instructions individually. We see that they continue their behaviors such as making sounds and painting, as they do when their microphones are turned off in online classes. We also observed that they lost their habits such as packing their belongings, bringing the necessary materials, preparing for the lesson, time management, and following up on homework/homework.
There is a problem of discipline. If we accept studentship as an area of skill and a discipline, our children seem to be seriously deviated from the requirements of this discipline. A first-year boy returned as a third-year student. Unfortunately, the culture of living together could not be gained during this period. This is the worst outcome of the process. They are not suitable for teamwork: We see that teamwork and collaboration skills, which are important competencies, are also dulled. Although they had the opportunity to work as a team on the screen, face-to-face, side-by-side cooperation and communication is completely different. In line with the culture of communication, we observe some deficiencies in the ability to resolve conflicts among themselves and in the culture of conflict.
They are hungry for social contact. They miss their friends. But there are problems with the nature of the relationships they have established. During the illness, self-protection status and behavior patterns in relationships are somewhat mixed. Students in the 10-14 age group are very energetic and could not spend that energy while they were at home. Sitting alone in front of a computer in a room has not been an easy process for them. We have seen that children need more social and emotional support, not support for their academic skills. In this process, a lot of work falls on our teachers and of course the guidance departments. Because there are children of different nature; Those who have lived alone at home because their parents are working, those who have lost their family, those whose atmosphere at home has changed… These children have different needs.
Their writing skills were weakened. We observed that while there was less decline in students’ reading-comprehension skills, their writing skills regressed considerably. Both pen-holding and text-creation skills have weakened.“