Back to School Advice from the TorchLight team

by Susan Mullin

classroom desks for back to school season

The back-to-school season always brings big changes, even under “normal” circumstances. Given this year’s uniquely challenging return to school, the TorchLight team offers our advice and ideas to help parents and caregivers make the transition more manageable.

Read on for our thoughts and recommendations…

Heather Pederson, Senior Director of Recruiting Operations & Engagement

It feels like the last 550+ days have conspired to destroy us, yet here we are. As we transition to the Fall, I’ve found that self-care remains critical to health and happiness. Self-care looks different for everyone. For me it means regularly talking with a therapist; using the Calm app for meditation and sleep; and oodles of exercise. The oxygen mask rule always applies people – take care of yourself first so you can in-turn support others.

Heidi Parsont, CEO and Founder

As we send our kids back to school this year, remember to bring lots of flexibility and a strong dose of patience. Most importantly, please be kind to the teachers. Teachers are one of a kind. They are now putting their lives on the line for the 2nd year in a row to educate our children. Why not send them a note to say thanks, a small trinket of appreciation, or just share kind words? I know they’ll all appreciate it. Hoping for a year of good health and lots of learning! A big thank you to all the teachers out there who show up every day regardless of the circumstance.

Julie Lowe, Chief Culture Officer

Ahhh, the lazy days of summer are coming to a close.  Unstructured lounging by the pool or beach is fun and sad to say goodbye to but I have always found the change in seasons are a bit of a restart.  Why wait until New Year’s for new beginnings?

Fall brings school, homework, sports and back to structure. When my child was young, structure was important and back to structure was welcomed in our house with calendars, new clothes, school supplies and these things equaled excitement. Now that schools are open again since COVID, I am sure this brings different emotions like fear and uncertainty as well as the excitement of new possibilities.

As your children head back into the classes with their dedicated and brave teachers, I wish everyone safety most of all but also healthy socialization and one more step back to a sense of normalcy for us all.  Happy fall, structure, and pumpkin spice everything!

Jen Todd, Senior Manager, Client Services

My advice is to celebrate the positive aspects of this year’s back-to-school. My family is grateful that our Aidan will be able to attend his senior year in the classroom. The last year and a half have been particularly hard for Seniors not being able to fully enjoy their last year of school. Aidan is looking forward to seeing his friends every day and being back on the lacrosse field.

Stephanie Ranno, VP of Business Development & Account Management

Our family has developed a tradition of beginning and ending the summer with a family camping trip. We find a break from devices, demands, and technology resets and refills us. Camping helps us slow down, appreciate the beauty and fun that comes from nature, and the connection that comes from experiencing the world around us together.  We all look forward to our Cove camping trip every year – and this year is no different!

Julie Rutherford, Marketing Director

Definitely lots of changes this year with back-to-school. My advice is to expect some bumps in the road as kids of all ages get used to heading back and try to support your kids the best you can to help them through the transition. My 16-year-old is very excited to go back (but already overwhelmed with homework). The 13-year-old is happy to see his friends but not loving sitting in class all day. We’re trying to be as understanding as possible and let them know that their feelings are normal–and that it will get easier.

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