COVID and Kids’ Mental Health

Nearly two years ago, we first learned of COVID, and I was part of the team tasked with creating a Student Supports website directly related to COVID. The site is still up today, and can be found HERE.

However, here we are two years later still dealing with the pandemic.While there are so many things going on that may seem to be of utmost importance, sometimes the quieter needs, such as children struggling with their mental health, can be overlooked. Several resources have become available regarding helping children cope. HERE is one article that adults may find helpful as we continue to deal with not only our own stressors and worries, but those of our children too.

It’s All About Relationships

More and more, the world of educators is focusing on relationships. Afterall, this is the block that all of education is built upon. If a student and teacher do not have a relationship, the odds of the student pushing through and giving effort when the work is hard goes down. The student is less likely to want to come to school, much less engage with learning. All of these greatly impacts a student’s academic success. Therefore, last quarter I started a BIG project.

I wanted to assess for the presence of an adult relationship in each student’s mind. Thus, I met with each student individually, and asked, “Is there an adult you could talk to if you were having a bad day?” I then slowly scrolled through a Google Form on my computer that contained the name and pictures of each student in our building, from administrators to teachers to paras. Everyone.

While I can use this data for many purposes, the main reason is to help catch those students who have no adult they feel a relationship with. I filter not only the students who answered 0 adults, but also students who responded they had only 1 adult to talk to. These students will all start in groups with me next week, grouped by grade level, in order to help form a relationship with adults in the building. While I will be facilitating these groups, other adults such as Mr. Long, Mrs. Paul, Miss Ann, etc. will stop in and engage with the students too in a way to help form relationships.

The great news is that 93% of students already have identified at least 2 adults they could talk to, and many identified several. We want to make sure all students feel like they belong here and have at least a couple of adults to talk to.