In Lubbock, one teacher is making mental health less of a taboo subject with a daily mental health check-in board. Jessie Cayton teaches at Cavazos Middle School, and says her eighth-grade students “go through a lot” but might not know how or where to express their feelings.
“Eighth-graders do a great job of trying to keep it all in,” Cayton says. “They’re not great at naming [feelings], or, certainly, tracing the cause.”
She has students place their name on the back of a sticky note, and put that note at a place on the board that corresponds most closely with how they’re feeling that day. The board isn’t meant to violate their privacy, rather it’s a way to reduce feelings of isolation and shame when it comes to their mental health.
What you’ll hear in this segment:
– How building trust with students is essential if teachers want to talk about mental health in the classroom
– Why some students struggle more than others with their mental health
– How Cayton is one among many teachers who are trying new ways to address students’ mental health
Written by Caroline Covington.