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  • Writer's pictureMeg Tanner

Virtual Silver Linings

It's that time of year when I begin receiving calls from existing clients and new clients to schedule educational consults and academic coaching sessions. Many people have commented about how busy I must be. Truth is parents and students are scrambling to figure out what the "new normal" looks like, so we are all coming out of the gate tip toeing versus running.

This summer I received a phone call from a parent with a son who is an upcoming high school freshman. She wanted me to provide support with Executive Functions (organization, study skills, time management, procrastination). I met with her son, and he reiterated his mom's sentiments about just how much he hated school and was not looking forward to virtual learning because the only part of school he looked forward to was the social aspect.

Today, we met for the first time since his school year actually started. Our goals were creating an Excel schedule to incorporate his classes and his independent studying, as well as developing an agenda for him to utilize for planning the completion of his assignments.

I was actually very impressed and encouraged. He is using his breaks to complete work in between his virtual sessions. At the beginning of our session, I asked him to share the biggest challenge and best surprise of his first week. He shared just how boring and difficult it is to be in online classes five days a week. I affirmed and normalized that reality. But he also shared that he was able to be with his friends via an online platform after school. He said that while they are each in their own homes, they are actually completing work at the same time to help each other stay focused as well as help each other when they get stuck. I'm not so naive as to think that they are constantly working, but he was pretty convincing that these groups were productive while at the same time giving him that social connection that he was thinking he would have to forfeit.

One of my intentions for myself and my families this school year is developing two muscles: flexibility (which by the way is an Executive Function) and finding the silver lining in the Covid clouds. We used those muscles today and came away feeling light and grateful. I would encourage you to consider flexing those muscles as well.

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