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How Teachers and Schools Can Help When Bad Stuff Happens

Posted on 10/19/2017

The following is an excerpt from the article. The full version can be accessed here External link opens in new window or tab.

Joy Osofsky, professor of pediatrics and psychiatry at Louisiana State University External link opens in new window or tab: "I would recommend that they address issues from the beginning. Talk to the students about: You know, we've all been through a difficult experience. I know that some of you may have lost your home. Some of you been in a shelter and been in very unusual circumstances.

And we're here to be supportive of you and understand the kinds of things that you've gone through. And we're going to work to establish the routines in school that you're used to, which we know is very important in adapting to the new situation. But we also want you to know that we're available to listen to you if that would be helpful."

Belva Parrish External link opens in new window or tab, school counselor at Woodrow Wilson Montessori School in Houston: "Trauma stems from not having any control of your situation. ... Banding together, being a place where students feel safe and they know they have a voice to be heard, will go a long way towards helping them."

Many students will at some point experience the loss of a loved one or family member. GrievingStudents.org External link opens in new window or tab is a database of fact sheets, advice and videos External link opens in new window or tab. Seven out of 10 teachers have a student currently in their classroom who is grieving, according to research by the New York Life Foundation and the American Federation of Teachers.

Source: nprEd How Learning Happens (October 5, 2017)