Teacher Takes Mental Health Into Her Own Hands

Saw this story the other day & it’s worth diving deeper on. I friggin’ love what this teacher is doing.


How many times over, arnd the globe, does this type of scenario happen, daily:


Elementary school kid’s eating his/her Cheerios for bfast while mom & dad (who do love each other), are fighting in the background, screaming & yelling bc of something one said the night before.  Kid starts tearing up, crying into their bowl of cereal, affected by the angst in the room. Mom puts on their jacket & gives them a kiss goodbye. The kid then takes the bus, goes on to school, & in their first class, they’re unengaged, not paying attention, unable to concentrate.


As a result, the teacher notices their lack of participation, calls them out, & they go further into their shell.  This leads to the student being penalized – maybe even having their seat moved out of punishment – either next to the teacher’s desk or the back of the room.


Personally, I can vividly remember those desk moves I had to make arnd 1st – 4th grade. Didn’t think much of them then, other than that I was “in trouble.”


I bring this common scenario up, not bc I believe in the era of “everyone getting a participation trophy & no one having to learn that life’s hard.” I bring it up bc for so long, we’ve wrongly interpreted & acted upon the social/emotional factors that play into students’ behaviors.


It’s is VERY hard to get kids to open up & verbalize what from their lives may be affecting them. Kids are more likely to “act out” than to explain the reasons for their behaviors.


I love what this teacher’s doing in this story – giving students easy to use TOOLS to communicate how they’re feeling. This is exactly what we’re trying to do w the #SameHere🤙 Hand Sign in schools – Give students/teachers, etc., a common language to be able to START the convo abt what feelings they have, related to obstacles they’re facing, that could be leading to their behaviors.  Love the idea of the board – it’s a simple way to let young students share what they’re feeling. We need more of these tools!

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