When she went to graduate school to get her teaching degree, Tamara never imagined that she would be spending a good part of her career managing classroom-wide trauma. “I spend an average of six hours per day in direct instruction. Of those six hours, I probably spend at least two and a half hours having conversations with my students to break through barriers that are preventing them from learning.”
This phenomenon is all too common in classrooms worldwide. Kids’ lives are complicated. Anxiety, depression, and trauma are occuring in epic proportions.
- Nearly 4% of US students have diagnosed depression, yet approximately 9% self-report that they struggle with depression on an ongoing basis.
- 1 in 6 U.S. youth aged 6-17 experience a mental health disorder each year
- 50% of all lifetime mental illness begins by age 14, and 75% by age 24
- Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among people aged 10-34
The numbers are staggering, so what is a teacher to do? Should they ignore the palpable distress in the classroom in favor of test scores or address the whole child? Most educators will admit that getting through the basics of teaching is nearly impossible. Students walk in the door carrying so much more than a backpack, this simply cannot be ignored. (more…)