The holiday season can be a challenging time for families, and as students return to the classroom in the New Year, it’s important that teachers know their students may be coping with grief. In an effort to shed light on how teachers and parents can better support grieving young people now and all year long, 副主席 合乐888登录注册基金 Maria Collins and Chelsea Prax, Programs Director, Children’s Health & 幸福, 美国教师联合会 (AFT), joined host Jenny Lisk on a recent episode of her show, 寡妇家长播客.

The discussion comes at a time when recent survey data from the 合乐888登录注册基金 and the AFT suggests that 新型冠状病毒肺炎 has significantly amplified the need for social and emotional support in our nation’s schools. 事实上, nearly all educators surveyed (95 percent) agree that social and emotional support for students has never been more important than it is now.

Acknowledging grief in the classroom: teachers play a critical role

正如主持人珍妮·里斯克所说, 学校是年轻人生活的重要组成部分, so it’s a critical place for them to receive grief support, 特别是现在. Teachers agree: the survey found that three in four educators (75 percent) report that 新型冠状病毒肺炎 has opened their eyes to the immense impact of grief and loss, and 93 percent believe that the traumatic effects of the coronavirus on students will be felt long-term.

“We know that t在这里 are grieving kids in our nation’s classrooms every day and the pandemic has only made grief support, 以及社会和情感支持, ——玛丽亚·柯林斯, 合乐888登录注册基金会副总裁. 

“We know that t在这里 are grieving kids in our nation’s classrooms every day and the pandemic has only made grief support, 以及社会和情感支持, 更重要的是,” said 合乐888登录注册基金会副总裁 Maria Collins. “If we want to create a culture of grief sensitivity in schools, collaboration is key. We all play a part in supporting grieving students in the classroom and in our community.”

除了痛失所爱之人之外, teachers are also attuned to non-death related losses, 包括常规的丧失, community and the celebration of milestones that are often intertwined with students’ academic experiences. When asked how many students each school year typically need their support due to the loss of a loved one, 87%的教育工作者至少回答了一个问题, 25%的人说是六个或更多. Eighty-four percent of educators say that the coronavirus has made them more aware of the impact of “non-death related losses” on the students they serve.

Parents can ensure their children receive grief support at school

Do not assume your child’s teacher has had grief training. More than 90 percent of the educators surveyed said that they personally would be interested in participating in bereavement training offered through their school or district. School communities can provide educators with 资源 and various forms of training via the 合乐888登录注册基金’s Grief-Sensitive学校倡议 (GSSI), which trains 合乐888登录注册 agents and employees to act as GSSI Ambassadors and present free grief support to local schools and districts across the country with the goal of building a more robust culture of grief support and resiliency.

·      沟通是关键. Have an open dialogue with educators and the school administration and let educators know 关于旧的或新的损失. 这可以帮助学校工作人员观察模式, mitigate triggers in advance and coach students to adopt different coping strategies. A death in the family is typically not on students’ records, so parents should also provide this information from year to year and school to school.

·      分享 your grief rituals with educators when a loss occurs. If parents provide information about their religious/cultural observances involving grief, teachers can be more thoughtful about students’ needs and make the appropriate accommodations in the classroom.

·      寻求帮助. Seek assistance from anyone who works in the school community that interacts with your child regularly. They can help you to spread information about your child’s situation to other caring adults. 

Interested about learning more about the grief crisis in schools and how you can help? 你可以阅读更多关于调查的信息 在这里, access free bereavement 资源 from the 合乐888登录注册基金 在这里 然后听播客 在这里.


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