Social-Emotional Learning

As the new school year kicks off, students arrive to newly decorated classrooms and (mostly) refreshed and reenergized educators approaching yet another new year armed with new ideas and the optimism only a new school year can bring! “It’s going to be a great year, our best year yet!” we all whisper to ourselves believing that the lessons learned from past classes paired with the information we gained from books and seminars over the summer will be the true difference makers we hope they’ll be! And we’re right on many levels. Things will be different, better, and more student-focused. However, each year, like a mother forgets the pain of childbirth, we, teachers and school staff, forget the physical and mental fatigue that inevitably comes with doing this job well. Alas, it is my suggestion that part of our strategic plan this year from school boards and superintendents to building administrators, teachers, and paraprofessionals includes a preventative plan to ensure we care for ourselves, for one another, and strive to protect school staff’s mental health and prevent burnout. In this post, we will walk through how education has changed, why support is needed, and how both administrators and educators can help.

Social-Emotional Learning

There have been a number of studies over the past decade on the prevalence of depression and anxiety among students. It was found that around 25% of students have a diagnosable mental health condition. Of these students close to half of them do not seek treatment or ask for help. More than 80% struggle to cope on a daily basis and 50% suffer from such intense anxiety or depression that they fail in their studies or achieve much lower results than they would be capable of achieving under normal circumstances.