Here’s How I Encourage Students to Speak up When They Need Help

by | 11.9.18

Sophie Kasahara is a teacher in Minnesota. Follow her on Twitter @SophieKasahara.

Students’ mental health is a big priority for me. I tell students, the first rule of our classroom is ‘take care of yourself.’

One of the ways students can learn to take care of themselves is to ask for support when they need it. Middle school and high school students struggle with that a lot.

That’s why I introduced this box, where students can reach out to me privately. They can write me a note if they’re concerned about their assigned seat, or if something’s going on that they want to talk about but they aren’t sure how. We have such a range of personalities in our classroom – I didn’t want students to be afraid to speak up.

I don’t get notes here every day. Some kids will come approach me in person. Some will write a little note on the side of their homework, where they know I’ll see it. But the box is one more opportunity for students to come forward.

Taking care of kids’ needs is such an important piece of creating an environment where every kid can grow. Once kids feel secure, they are going to be a lot more ready to learn.

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