Dear Students: What COVID-19 Can Teach Us

Worried about the impact the stress of COVID-19 is having on your students? Share this open letter from veteran teacher Heather on the "upside" of the coronavirus crisis, in which she lays out some of the positive outcomes we all may be overlooking.

What COVID-19 can teach us

Dear Students,

You may not know this now, but 2020 will be one of the best years of your life. After the coronavirus struck the world, schools and pretty much any public place you can name shut down. You got to be homeschooled by your parents, and you will remember only the positives of this unprecedented time in history - the time when COVID-19 shook up the world and completely interrupted your life as you knew it. You were able to wake up later than usual, you went on scavenger hunts around your home, you built forts, climbed trees, learned how to cook, you mastered riding your bike, and you had the complete and total undivided attention from your parents for weeks on end!

What you won’t probably won’t remember is the worry that your parents hid from you, the scrambling around to get essentials like toilet paper and meat, which were basically wiped out as soon as the announcement to shelter at home was made. You won’t remember them checking their bank account because they were anxious about how they were going to pay their bills after being mandated to stay home from work - or worse, losing their jobs.

Their whole world shut down, but your whole world opened up.

While the coronavirus took many lives and caused fear and hardship, there are positive things to take away from this crisis, too. Here are some things to consider as you look forward, and backward, at this unique time in your life.

Family is Everything

Your friends aren’t able to be with you, but your family is. Being home 24/7 has helped you lean on your parents and learn from them, as well as who they really are. You’ve learned how to interact appropriately and bond with your siblings and understand better now that they are all you’ve got in hard times like these. While friends may come and go in your life, your family is always constant. Enjoy all the home-cooked family meals, the board game and trivia nights, the movies, the cuddles, and the hikes and numerous walks you took together.

You Don’t Need a Lot to Be Happy

Toys are awesome. Video games are amazing. How often did you play with these things during the quarantine? You’ve learned that the great outdoors is able to teach you a lot about yourself and your world. The clothes you wear don’t define you - they are made for a purpose and not to make a fashion statement. The next time you feel as though you can’t go on without the name brand shoes or the fancy purse, keep in mind that you can, because you did!

Respect Your Elders

You can learn a lot about the way the elderly are treated and considered from this outbreak. While people scrambled to fend for themselves and stockpile supplies, those who really needed it were left with little or nothing. The elderly were kept in nursing homes without physical visitation from their family, since they were most in danger of being infected with the virus. After this is all said and done, hopefully you will learn that kindness, generosity, and empathy truly matter and are key for a happy life.

Save Your Money

While no one is at fault or to blame, the reason many families ended up in financial distress is because they didn’t plan properly for an economic disaster. Stocks crashed, trade halted, people were sent home from work - by not having enough in the bank, families were set up for stress right from the get go.

Because you’ve hopefully learned that you don’t need as much as you think you do to be happy and survive, be sure to keep your savings account stocked for emergency situations, like this one!

Never Take a Healthy Day for Granted

As a child, you have no idea how lucky you are to have your health. Those whose health is compromised are most at risk for contracting the virus. When you think you’ve had a bad day, always remember things could always be worse. As long as you have your health, you have everything!

Your Education is Important

COVID-19 stopped you from going to school. Because you needed to socially distance yourself, you were at risk of contracting the virus or becoming a carrier, potentially infecting many others. You missed out on a little valuable classroom instruction, but you gained an even better understanding of how the world works by learning at home, through hands-on applications. School can teach you useful practices, like reading comprehension, history, multiplication, and scientific theories. However, at home, you’re lucky to gain a young understanding of how these concepts are used in your everyday life - balancing a checkbook, cooking and baking, doing laundry, creating a garden.

At this point in time you will finally understand what it means when your parents and teachers tell you that you’re going to use a certain skill in the “real world.” Wake up! You’re in it.

In conclusion, it is a teacher’s hope that while you were out of the classroom and inside your own home, you’ve taken time to reflect on what’s really important in life. Always remember it’s the little things that matter and the way that you use and spend your time-it’s precious, just like you!


Your Teacher

What message do you have for students in the time of coronavirus? Share with us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Heather Aulisio is a third grade teacher in Pennsylvania. She has been a teacher for nearly 15 years and holds multiple degrees and certifications. A freelancer for The Mailbox and other education-related clients and publications, she enjoys writing in order to help and entertain fellow teachers. She currently resides with her husband, Bryan; son, Matthew; and two pugs, Lily and Leo.

About the author

Heather Aulisio


About Heather

Heather Aulisio (B.S., M.S. Ed.) is a 5th grade math and science teacher. She has been teaching in a public school setting for 19 years. Heather has previously taught third… Read more

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