I am excited to get my project off the ground this semester. I think it is going to be very meaningful for me as a teacher. More importantly, I think it is going to be very meaningful and impactful for my students.
As we are all well aware, mental health is a challenge for many students with what is going on in our world today. As such, my project is going to focus on making sure my students are okay and developing strategies and tools to assist them in being just that. Most of you are likely somewhat familiar with the OurSchool survey. The results in my school have told us year after year that students are struggling with anxiety, depression, and many other mental health challenges.
The OurSchool survey is taken by students in grades 4-12. My project will mainly focus on working with students in a grade 3/4 classroom, with hopes of expanding it beyond as it picks up steam. As such, the first step of my project will be to develop a separate questionnaire to dive deeper into the mental health status of these students. What they know about mental health, how they feel about themselves, strategies they currently have to improve their mental health are some of the areas I hope to learn more about. From there, the intention will be to have daily check-ins and conversations about how they are doing. As part of these conversations, we will explore and learn about many coping strategies, with the end result being each student having a ‘toolbox’ of ideas they can use when they feel they need it.
Below is a coles notes version of what I envision this project looking like and some of the resources I will explore:
- working primarily with Grade 3/4 students, the goals of my project are:
- use technology as a component of studying, analyzing, and improving mental health
- develop a questionnaire based on OurSchool data to establish, monitor, measure mental health state
- develop resources geared towards improving mental health
- research and implement resources from a variety of sources
- students develop a toolbox of strategies that improve their mental health
Measurement of Success
- application of survey in January, April, June
Resources/Tools/Areas of Study
- Use of Microsoft Teams ‘Reflect’ app
- students check in with feeling monsters
- immediate touch base with students who are reporting ‘flagged’ emotions
- Class Dojo
- Zones of Regulation
- Plan School Wide Mental Health Day
While I have a general plan and roadmap, I do not want it to be scripted and set in stone. I want it to be very flexible in the sense of allowing students to take us where we need to go. If they express an interest or need, I want to go there with them. At the end of the day, this project is about them, so I need to be flexible to allow it to be meaningful to them.
I will provide weekly updates of the success and challenges I experience as we go through this journey. Hopefully I will be able to provide some resources that are of use to all of you who are following along!