Being an Upstander During Distance Learning
Updated: Jul 6, 2020
Daily life sure looks different today than it did at the start of the semester in January! We rapidly shifted to distance learning as the coronavirus turned into a pandemic. Our students, educators, and families made the difficult decision to stay home to keep each other safe. The abrupt end of the school year, the transition to technology, and the isolation of social distancing has been truly difficult for many.
Our grief can be lessened when we approach each member of our community with kindness and compassion. At Don’t Be A Monster, we encourage students to be an Upstander whenever they spot signs of bullying. This means you advocate for kindness, involve appropriate adults, and approach each day with integrity. Our Upstanders change the world each day in a small and meaningful way!
As we are relying on technology more now than ever before it is critical that our Upstanders are still present. Our student leaders will notice nuances that teachers may miss in the online classroom, or comments on social media that could be damaging to a peer. We need everyone to hold our communities accountable for kindness and empathy during this pandemic. Being an Upstander may look different right now but its impact has never been greater!
Here are a few ways you can continue to support your classmates:
Recognize that each person is experiencing this pandemic differently. You will have classmates whose parents may have lost their jobs, are experiencing food insecurity, do not feel safe at home, have limited access to technology, are struggling with anxiety and depression, or have lost a loved one to COVID-19. As an Upstander, you honor each unique experience and approach others with positive intent.
Have you noticed someone is being bullied on social media? Has an incident occurred that you would normally report to your teacher or school counselor? Do you have a friend who does not feel safe? An Upstander will continue to report bullying incidents and ensure the person being bullied knows they have an ally beside them.
Make Friends Outside Your Circle.
Think about the students who typically stay to themselves. How could you reach out to them to make sure they feel seen? Social distancing is hard for everyone and an Upstander doesn’t let anyone feel forgotten or lonely!
Connect Others to Resources.
An Upstander takes care of their community! There are plenty of resources available to support families with everything from food, filing unemployment, rent/mortgage assistance, to free online therapy. If you see a need that is not being filled or is going unnoticed let your teacher, school counselor, or other trusted adult know!