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  • Honora Wall

The COVID Behavior Catch-Up

Let's talk about student behavior. Have you noticed your 8th graders acting like elementary students? Are your high schoolers shouting in the hallways, forgetting their folders, and cutting up in class? I've heard from teachers across the country who are frustrated by their students' behavior (me included!). What's going on?

COVID went on. Most students were out of the classroom for the better part of the last two years. They missed key social cues and experiences that lead to maturity. Usually, 9th graders look to Juniors and Seniors to learn how to behave. Tracy Lowd, a high school AP teacher in Florida, says, "These Juniors were 8th graders the last time they spent a 'normal' year in class," and she noticed a big difference. The kids got taller, she says, but they didn't get older in the way we expect high school students to. What are you finding with your students?

As with all things COVID, this experience gives us a great chance to observe student growth and resiliency. Will they grow up faster now that they are back in a brick-and-mortar setting? Mature over the summer? Will there be a "COVID" bubble of immature behavior as this cohort moves to graduation? Only time will tell.

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