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.
- students’ pandemic experiences may have looked and felt very different Moreover, many of our students may have experienced physical and psychological trauma directly due to illness, food insecurity, social isolation, discrimination, anxiety and depression, and loss. Connect with your students and meet them where they are.