Tag: Mental Health

How are you?

Do you ask this question to others? “Hi Jane, How are you today?” It is a simple question as part of our greeting and not an in-depth question many may need to answer. As schools returned to face to face, businesses are trying to maintain without workers due to no applicants, and companies are trying to ship materials to places in need as materials become available.

How can we greet our coworkers and employees in ways to help them and to check on how they are? At this time, it is so important to check on others and to let them understand they matter to us. Many things are causing stress to others and maybe even for ourselves. Letting others know is the best way to find solutions. I have a former student missing and a former student who just killed himself. My heart breaks for their families. These young men I think of as “my kids,” and I picture them in the time we were together. The charisma of both these kids is amazing, fun to be around, friends with many, and nice looking. If someone asked me, How are you? “I am fine, just fine.” Am I?

Most people do not tell others the truth. They mask things that are bothering them. People pass you all the time. Do you notice them? How much do you know about the people you work with daily? How about those you use to work with but not anymore? Neighbors? Family? Do you check on any of them? The truth is rarely told on how we are. https://youtu.be/lbqS806GU4I

Change the questions. Change the responses. Let the truth be told, and solutions will be found. #Bethesolutiondaily Find the resources to help others in need. Reach out to others when you are in need. You matter, we matter, together we matter, and we will be fine! Faith, hope, and love for one another.

What to do? According to data?

In every organization, data-driven decision-making was and is a phrase repeated often. Sitting around a big conference table, I can recall talking about the stacks and stacks of data collected by an individual for us to utilize. However, we all looked at each other with a huh what. Data-rich and information poor, why are we collecting all of this data, and what is it being used for?

Understand where you are, where you want to go, and then how you will get there. One of the biggest things we noticed was the duplication of data. We were assessing to answer the same questions.

What do you need to know and find solutions for to achieve the goals you established? Looking at your situation, what is the most critical issue facing your organization?

Mental health is an issue that is revealing itself as a priority since the pandemic. It has always been important, but recent data reveals it is steadily increasing with our children.

“Since the start of the pandemic, there has been a 31% increase in the proportion of mental health-related emergency rooms visits in youth ages 12 to 17, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More youth are also reporting increases in depression, anxiety, and stress, according to a YouthTruth survey.” The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services pledged $85 million in funding to address the mental health needs of our children and teens. To learn more about funding and data, please read this short article:

https://www.k12dive.com/news/biden-administration-pledges-85m-to-support-student-mental-health/605750/

A clear focus on what improvements are needed will help to target these areas with direct assessments and instruction. Providing the strategies to support the desired outcomes will keep a transparent approach to achieve positive results.

This is for you! #Bethesolutiondaily

Finding Facts, Adding Value to what you need as you read!

Books always surround me! They are everywhere! I have highlighted, tagged and read some of my books so much they are falling apart! My signed copy of Teaching with Poverty in Mind by Eric Jensen has pages falling out.

I consult often with others for feedback. Let’s face it don’t we all need it! I don’t care what kind I get right now just anything to help me know if what I am doing is helping someone.

So I sent an email to Daniel Bauer. He does not know me. Yes, I send things to people I don’t know; how else will you grow if you don’t ask. He answered with a blog post. Who knew that is what he would do? He helped me, and I am sure others who may be afraid to ask, don’t be! Here is the blog link. https://t.co/Xie8xgOCnI

I have asked a few others, and they confirm the same things from his blog. Be real, Focus on service, Be consistent, write for yourself first, and then that one person! Most importantly, never take yourself too seriously!

You are the reason I write! I have nothing I am selling but giving. My hope someday is to publish my book but not to gain profits or fame. It is to help you! My career ended before I wanted because of one day, one choice, and one crash, leaving injuries to last a lifetime. I miss children, teachers, leaders, parents, and community members. I loved being a principal and part of education!

Now I will organize a time daily the blog post will come out to know when to expect it. The blog post will be posted daily at 9:30 a.m. Central Time. We will see if that time works for everyone. I will provide you with current information on topics to help leaders and teachers support each other and the children they serve. We will address Poverty, Social-Emotional Learning, Mental Health, Equity, and how to move forward in this sea of confusion from the global pandemic. Let’s get started!

In Federal Poverty Threshold, Who really is poor in America by Kimberly Amadeo https://www.thebalance.com/federal-poverty-threshold-3305793

I found some things to help us on our journey of learning, reflection, review and action. In order to be the solution, you have to identify the problem, reflect on what has been done, what is working, and create an action plan. Then face the problem and take action. Do it!

Key Takeaways from Who really is poor in America

  • The federal poverty threshold is the measurement of poverty in America, based on several economic factors having to do with total family income.
  • According to the U.S. Census, the official poverty rate in 2019 was 10.5%.
  • Over 41% of those living in poverty were white, while about 28% were Hispanic, 24% were Black, and 4% were Asian.
  • Research shows there is a high correlation between education and income.

The effects of the global pandemic have caused many changes in our families across our nation. In your school, district or community, have you seen an increase in the number of people without jobs? Business closings? Do you have a reduction in student enrollment? Why? Do you have an increased number of homelessness?

As you reflect on the changes in your area, what are steps that have been taken to help locally? “Common issues in low-income families include: depression, chemical dependence, and hectic work schedules-all factors that interfere with the healthy attachments that foster children’s self-esteem, sense of mastery of their environment, and optimistic attitudes.”-Eric Jenson

Poor children often feel isolated; they drop out of school and do not perform well academically because of their stressors. Our children are all facing that during this pandemic as they have been isolated at various lengths of times, lacked excitement in learning with issues in technology, feeling stress from family work or no work, and uncertainty in safety as health and violence are in question.

Unemployment Surge 

In April 2020, the U.S. economy lost an astonishing 20.8 million jobs.11 Many states required non-essential businesses to shut down. Bars, restaurants, and hotels suffered the most, as people stopped traveling and restaurants could only offer take-out and delivery. Hospitals lost jobs as they stopped elective procedures to make way for COVID-19 patients. Retail also suffered as shoppers moved online.

Prior to the shutdown, the economy was adding around 200,000 jobs a month. It needs about 150,000 new jobs each month to keep expanding.

Job losses sent the April unemployment rate skyrocketing to 14.7%. It remained in the double digits until August, ending the year at. 6.7%12

The Fed projects that unemployment will fall to a healthy 5.0% in 2021.9

Reference for additional information: https://www.thebalance.com/recession-2020-4846657#:~:text=The%202020%20recession%20is%20the,added%20back%20into%20the%20economy.

ACTION

In order to change, we must change- Identity your problems and let’s face them

Brains can change! I suffer from a Traumatic Brain Injury and was expected to not…. let’s not go there because I can so can they! Begin a plan not on remediation for children but for discovery! Discover where they are and keep going!

Implementation of SHARE! This comes from Eric Jensen in his book Teaching with Poverty in Mind.

Support the Whole Child

Hard Data

Accountability

Relationship Building

Enrichment Mind-Set

We will continue with more facts, tools and resources as we continue! Thank you for being the solution daily!

Will you be my friend? Finding Friends on Friday

“Childhood lies at the very heart of who we are and who we become.” Fred Rogers

Mister Rogers was not afraid to talk about difficult social issues, tackle them head on and make it a priority to support children in the best way he knew how! He talked about divorce, assassination, death, racial issues and talked honestly and openly about subjects adults were often afraid to speak about, but which children often silently wondered and worried about. He utilized his platform to help children, and adults too, know that there are some things no one can understand. “Some things I don’t understand.” However, with honest, open and continued conversations in positive, optimism for solutions are found. We are one nation working together to make a great neighborhood for all.

We are all friends! I want to thank my best friend in kindergarten, Tammy! We enjoyed many years growing up in a confusing time, but never for us! She helped to button my coat when I couldn’t and I can still remember her being crowned queen in high school. Children only see differences when they are taught to see them. I was never taught to see anything but friends.

Although children’s “outsides” may have changed a lot, their inner needs have remained very much the same. Society seems to be pushing children to grow faster, but their developmental tasks have remained constant. ~Fred Rogers

Children could turn on the television and find security in the voice and words from Fred Rogers. He could influence how they felt about themselves and others by the words of encouragement he had. Each time the child tuned in, he consistently shared the message of self-worth, hope, security, stability, and confidence, as he ensured trying is okay even if you fail. You are perfect just being you!

I want to pose this question: What resources do children have to turn to daily for this kind of reinforcement?

Next question: What are ways we can help children have this kind of reinforcement daily?

Finally: Children and adults are spending countless hours online in Zoom meetings/virtual classrooms, no real face-to-face interactions with others, and facing hours of negative news. How can we help address fears, calm emotions, reduce the negative effects?

People need people! We need to have opportunities to talk, engage in fun activities in real-time, and enjoy the company. Isolation from others is difficult. Think about all of the children who went from being gone every day involved in multiple activities to now sitting staring at a computer screen.

Do you know anyone who retired and then was miserable? If you do, then you know it is because they did not plan out how it would be when all of their “work friends” would still be busy in their work-life and they found themselves with nothing to keep themselves focused on or a purpose in life.

Stages in life provide us with the lessons to form our foundation. I focus a great deal on words and actions. Even when we believe no one is listening or watching, they are. I have gained this from my own experience and from the children I have served.

My hope is if you have chosen to read this blog, you will be my friend and provide me with your thoughts on how to create better neighborhoods for all children. How can we stop all of the negatives and replace them with positives? I promise together we can gain solutions!

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