“Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”Joshua 1:9
We can see many things around us that can spark fears within us. The world is full of news clips of scary and daunting stories to reach our minds, sending signals of fear. How do we respond to this?
I turn off the world’s noise and limit the time I am exposed to media outlets. I may sometimes miss out on a news item that happens at the moment, but I can easily catch up. Prioritizing my exposure to the fears, negativity, and troubles helps me focus on what I need to accomplish daily.
Life is Difficult
There is no phrase to speak truthfully to everyone, “Life is Difficult.” My sister-in-law and brother-in-law introduced a company to me titled “Life is Good.” I have several T-shirts and a hat from this company. The focus on positivity is exactly what I believe in, but I do not want myself or others to ignore the ‘unspoken fears” of those around us.
As an educator, I spent half my career with middle school students. This is an age where many things happen in life for them. Many transitions occur, and “life is difficult” for them as they believe their world is shattered when a change occurs. At times you will find they will not talk about any situations, keep things to themselves, and shut those who care about them the most out. However, they keep those social media platforms going even though they may be the source of the pain they feel.
What to do?
Helping to find the courage to face fears is a significant first step in focusing on the solution. “Unspoken fears” are those as educators; we need to watch for and to provide environments where students, staff, and families feel safe as well as good about where they are.
- Do not spend time on yesterday’s failures
- Focus on tomorrow’s success
- Identify areas to strengthen
- Build strong relationships
- Improve communications
- Update safety plans
- Inform, train and activate procedural plans to stabilize
- Implement S.O.S (System of Support)-a detailed plan to wrap around students with a plan to address all needs. Not an Individual Education Plan (IEP), but a plan to address academics, social-emotional needs, community support, organizational support, and other needs identified.
Comprehensive approaches to support the needs of those we serve are needed in the educational system as we move forward. One glove does not fit all, and meeting children where they are will help identify specific needs. Today is full of opportunities! Be the solution daily for others!