Rituals: How to support a smooth transition back to in-person, remote or hybrid learning

Many students and educators are back to school in various formats. In-school, virtual, and hybrid variations of teaching and learning for many have made scheduling and establishing a routine a challenge. During the pandemic, while some days are monotonous, our lives and interactions are also unpredictable. With so many unknowns, some will feel worried and scared. Educators and parents can buffer the stress through the creation of rituals.

You may not know when school will be back in-person. You may be back in-person but fear it may not last long or that it isn’t as safe. You may worry your school district will not go back in-person. You may love virtual school and not want to return any time soon. There are numerous scenarios on the minds of educators, students and families every day.

Rituals are meaningful and interactive activities that help lower stress and promote a sense of connection.

  • Play music or sing a song upon waking up, eating breakfast or during your morning meetings and classes.
  • Make the drive to school, start of class or a new lesson fun by playing a game like i-spy, 10 questions, or tell a joke.
  • Take a break for play or movement at regular times during the day. Use a code word or signal so students know break time is on the way.
  • Celebrate the end of a class, lesson or school day with a fun hand gesture or phrase.

When rituals are established and practiced often, students (and educators) come to expect them – they are fun ways to make a schedule and routine special. Watch my segment below on routines from Starr’s latest Resilient Educators episode for more information!


Join our learning community for free!

Dr. Caelan Soma

By Dr. Caelan Soma, PsyD, LMSW

Dr. Caelan Soma, PsyD, LMSW, Chief Clinical Officer, provides oversight for all clinical operations and research at Starr Commonwealth. Dr. Soma provides trauma assessment and trauma informed, resilience focused intervention for youth utilizing evidence-based practices, including TLC’s SITCAP® model programs.


About Starr Commonwealth

Starr Commonwealth is dedicated to the mission to lead with courage to create positive experiences so that all children, families, and communities flourish. We specialize in residential, community-based, educational, and professional training programs that build on the strengths of children, adults, and families in communities around the world. To schedule a training or consultation, please contact info@starr.org or call 800-837-5591.