A great teacher can make all the difference to a child. I mean, I still remember all of the teachers that really made an impact on me. Because a truly great teacher doesn’t just teach you a subject or a bunch of facts – they teach you how to be your best self.
Teachers are also sometimes one of the few adults a child can trust – a responsibility that truly great teachers don’t take lightly.
Recently, Facebook user Tara Mitchell shared a photo of a whiteboard with “Monday check-in” written on top and several sections underneath labeled “I’m great,” “I’m okay,” “I’m meh,” “I’m struggling,” “I’m having a tough time and wouldn’t mind a check-in,” and “I’m not doing great”
Every student can take a post-it, write their name on it, and then stick it face-down (preserving anonymity) in the section that best corresponds to how they’re feeling. Based on their needs, they’ll get to have a check-in with the teacher sometime over the week.
The idea was originally created by Erin Castillo as a way for her to be more supportive of students who may be struggling in their personal lives, without any potential for embarrassment thanks to the anonymous nature of the system. Mental health issues have been on the rise, likely spurred on by social media and a pretty bleak 24/7 news cycle that honestly stresses ALL of us out.
Seeing as young people spend most of their waking hours at school, teachers would naturally be an excellent resource to help combat the mental health epidemic affecting our kids.
Unfortunately, teachers are already overworked and underpaid enough as it is, so asking them to play the role of a counselor on top of all that. Thankfully, this relatively simple method helps make that task a lot more manageable by taking the guesswork out of figuring out which students need the most help.
In case you’re interested, Erin has shared a poster version of her board available for download at Teachers Pay Teachers.