Create an environment of acceptance and belonging for all students. Be aware of students’ backgrounds and home environments when learning about emotional well-being.
Create a safe space for students to share and ensure to reach out for support if a student requests it. Know what your professional responsibilities are if you identify a student at-risk.
Understand that educators can promote positive mental-health but are in no position to diagnose a mental health problem.
Ensure to optimally challenge students. Focus on developmentally appropriate activities that build both competence and confidence.
Promote autonomy, choice, decision-making, and problem-solving when possible.
Make emotional well-being activities fun but also create meaningful learning opportunities.
During this uncertain time and new educational landscape, additional considerations need to be recognized. Some facts to consider:
- not all children have a family environment conducive to learning;
- a number of children no longer have access to the food they once did;
- access to technology (e.g. consistent internet, computer, etc.) is varied;
- access to resources (e.g. equipment, educational supplies, etc.) is also varied;
- these are not normal or ideal learnings environments;
- the current health crisis is likely to cause stress in all children and disrupt routines;
- families may be facing precarious situations, which may be exacerbated during this time, exposing children to even greater levels of stress;
- as we know - stress can inhibit a person's ability to learn; and
- we must also take into account pupils with disabilities and other vulnerable populations who have difficulty adapting or learning, and require increased support.