It is normal for some students to experience back-to-school stress. Many challenges come with the start of a new school year. This article is geared toward the typical stressors of starting or returning to school, and is not intended to focus on students showing severe cases of anxiety or depression. Many of the school-related challenges described below can cause students distress, irritability, reduced focus or academic performance. Though many of these changes simply take time to adapt to, others are readily addressable.
In the past eight years that I have been working in the education sector, I have always been confronted with the challenge of making a meaningful learning experience for my students. That is, creating connections between students’ learning journey and their lives.
A few years ago, as I was teaching an introductory course in psychology, I asked myself: ‘In what ways could learning about Freud’s theory help them with their future career?’ Answers are not always straightforward since psychology is arguably more theoretical than practical.
“Take a Break,” says a small sign in a small corner of a second-grade classroom. A small corner that represents a big change at Dan D. Rogers Elementary School in Dallas, Texas. Last year we began small changes such as these as part of a school-wide effort to have a uniform approach to Social-Emotional Learning on our Campus. With the help of my leadership team, a group of core teachers, and our district’s Psychological and Social Services Department, we met over the summer and began to formulate lessons, gather tools, and purchase materials to begin our program which we now call, “Our Mind Time.” This a title that was coined by one of our district social workers, Veva Lane.
What do young children need to be successful in school? Most people would say learning the ABCs and counting to 10. However, other important cognitive skills also are important. Inhibition (also sometimes labeled “inhibitory control” or “impulse control”) is a skill that is very important for children’s early success in school.
The infamous Google memo by James Damore rightfully struck a cord in social media, the popular press, and academia. The memo hit on many things, but in particular a core argument that has raged for thousands of years: are men and women innately different? And if they are different, should attention to these differences be reflected in policies in the workplace and society in general?