Of the many worries troubling educators this summer, one of the most pressing is: How do we safeguard students’ mental health as we go back to school?
We know that some students will arrive for the new school year deeply affected by the COVID-19 pandemic or by ongoing racial injustice in the United States. Others will simply be distressed by the “new normal” of school and community life.
Schools can and should screen for and respond to trauma. But even when trauma is not evident, students benefit from mental-health protection. Making sure teachers have strong relationships with their students provides such protection and fosters a fertile environment for learning.