Neuroscience helps explain the importance of student-teacher relationships.
One year ago this week, a Utah Jazz player tested positive for COVID-19, leading to the lockdown of the NBA, the first corporate organization in the United States to do so. At the time, it felt both outrageous and terrifying, a stunning admission that the coronavirus was about to change our lives forever. Within days and weeks, the virus was already spreading across the country. During the week of March 16, 2020, at least 46 states ordered school closures to stop the spread of the pandemic.
One year later, our lives are filled with pandemic-related knowledge and coping strategies. Social distancing vs. physical distancing with social contact? The 20-second rule for adequate hand washing, bulk purchases of toilet paper, hand sanitizers, and Clorox wipes have become part of everyday conversations. Some schools closed for two weeks and then opened only to close again, opting for remote learning or hybrid teachings models. Even as the world of neuroscience was attempting to come to a unified understanding of the impact of excessive screen time on our children’s neurological development, school-aged kids were attending school over computers—for many, 100% of the time. Through online learning seemed better than no school at all, some feared the new learning platforms would cause irreparable damage to our children’s young minds, impacting intellectual and social-emotional development, if this practice continued. Getting children back to school—learning in an interactive classroom is felt to be critical.
As vaccines began rolling out in the beginning of 2021, fewer than a third of states had prioritized teachers as a first-line priority group. Stunning! How is it that w