Elephants are large. In fact, they are the largest land animal on earth. So, how can there be an elephant the size of this one in the schools that everyone sees but we don’t talk about?
I’m talking about the mental health concerns teachers and administrators are seeing in our students. I am personally a university professor, working with future teachers. They spend hours weekly in the schools doing internships and student teaching to prepare for their future jobs. And, while they are “future teachers” they are also my students until they graduate in May.
One of the things they share with me often, is how overwhelmed and full of anxiety there are. I am so thrilled they feel comfortable talking to me about this, but it doesn’t change the fact that students everywhere are showing these signs.
Ask an elementary teacher, do you see more mental health concerns with your students since Covid-19 started? Ask a middle school teacher, high school teacher or university professor. You will probably hear similar answers.
Yet, what is being done? Not enough is the answer. Covid has impacted the elderly, because many of them feel that cannot leave their homes safely. The middle aged generation has had to learn how to work from home while simultaneously teaching children who are learning from home. And teens were home zooming their way through school, without being able to socialize or play the sports they love.
So, I am talking about the elephant in the schools so that the school boards, the state boards of education, and the federal government will take the time to look at the whole child. Children are not a number. They are not a test score. In order to learn, they need to feel they are safe and respected. How are we doing? Are we making the best choices for our children ?
Are our school counselors given the time to counsel? Are our social workers juggling other responsibilities? These are the front line workers who need time with our students, not just the teachers! It’s a partnership!
Join me in talking about the elephant in the schools! Our children deserve our love, respect, and our concern!
Blessings my friends,