Teaching and Learning in Difficult Times

In tough circumstances, teaching and learning present particular difficulties that call for adaptability, empathy, and creative strategies. In order to guarantee that education continues successfully, teachers and students must both adjust to changing conditions, whether they are brought on by a global catastrophe, social instability, or personal circumstances. Students enter the classrooms not just with their past knowledge but also with their emotional reactions to recently occurred events (Ambrose et al., 2010). These emotional reactions can have a variety of effects on learning, ranging from increasing interest in a course topic that is relevant to it to feeling unable to participate in any course.

People are different and react in a different way to the same circumstances, this is why it is a must to bear in mind the components of an event that are likely to cause pain. Let’s think about fireworks which are often considered visually stunning and can be a source of enjoyment for many people. Fireworks are often used to celebrate special occasions, such as holidays, festivals, and other significant events. The vibrant colors, patterns, and displays created by fireworks can be breathtaking and evoke a sense of awe and wonder. In many regions, fireworks displays are also a cultural tradition that unite people in celebration and happy memories. They may stand for celebrations, joy, and a sense of community among people. Although many people find fireworks to be fun, it is vital to remember that they can also have harmful effects. For persons with sensory issues, animals, and those who have suffered trauma, the loud noises and bright lights might be upsetting. Trauma survivors may be more sensitive to stimuli that trigger memories of their painful experiences. Fireworks may cause emotions of anxiety, heightened awareness, and a sense of unease or danger. The experience of displacement, loss, and exposure to violence, in particular, can render war refugees more susceptible to such triggers. This is one of the example that encourages us to be aware of such sensitivities and consider the impact of events.The same applies for teaching and learning.

To make sure that students who have experienced trauma feel comfortable, supported, and able to participate in the learning process, it is essential to provide a trauma-sensitive learning environment. Trauma-sensitive strategies improve learning results, establish healthy connections, and promote emotional well-being. It is vital to be aware of triggers. Teachers should be mindful of any possible triggers that might upset kids who have had traumatic experiences. These triggers may consist of certain phrases, circumstances, or sensory sensations. Reduce exposure to these triggers as much as possible and provide children resources to control their emotions.Teachers should create a safe and predictable setting where students feel secure both physically and emotionally to foster safety and trust. This might entail communicating expectations and creating clear limits as well as maintaining routines.

In order to encourage effective learning, develop healthy connections, and promote the wellbeing of all learners, a secure and inclusive classroom environment is important.

Following are some tips for handling teaching and learning in challenging times:

Tips for teachers:

  • Focus on the main learning goals and make sure that students can properly manage their workload;
  • Take into account the possibility that students are under emotional and psychological strain. Create an atmosphere of support and empathy so learners feel at ease talking about their worries;
  • Keep in touch with students in an open and regular manner. Ensure that they are kept up to date on any updates, homework modifications, and other changes to the way that students are taught.
  • Look into offering many ways to be evaluated and be flexible with deadlines and assignment formats.
  • Offer wellness support by providing resources for mental health and wellbeing. Encourage students to take pauses, engage in mindfulness exercises, meditate and ask for help when they need it.

Tips for students:

  • Lay out a reasonable timetable that takes your circumstances into account. To avoid being overwhelmed, break things into small pieces and set attainable goals.
  • Put your emotional and mental health first. To keep a healthy balance, participate to enjoyable and relaxing activities.
  • Maintain open channels of contact with your teachers and peers. Do not hesitate to inform them as soon as possible if you are having difficulties that are affecting your ability to study so they can offer you help.
  • Be open to experimenting new tools and/ or techniques and accept changes in learning styles. Success under difficult circumstances depends on your capacity to adapt.
  • Look for alternatives if your options are restricted. Additional assistance may be obtained via online libraries, free instructional materials, and virtual study groups.

During challenging times, both teachers and students are exploring unfamiliar ground. Despite challenges, it is possible to overcome obstacles and effectively continue the journey of learning by cultivating a feeling of community, understanding, and an ongoing commitment to education.


Adedoyin, O.B.; Soykan, E. Covid-19 Pandemic and Online Learning: The Challenges and Opportunities. Interact. Learn. Environ.
2020, 1–13

Ambrose, S. A., Bridges, M. W., DiPietro, M., Lovett, M. C., & Norman, M. K. (2010). How Learning Works: Seven Research-Based Principles for Smart Teaching. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.





prof. Carmen-Lidia Nistor

Școala Gimnazială Mihai Eminescu, Brăila (Brăila) , România
Profil iTeach: iteach.ro/profesor/carmen.nistor

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