A Year 5 teacher has been praised after sharing her special system, designed to help students in her classroom who are having off days, which was inspired by her visit to a trauma conference
Teachers are tasked with far more than simply educating their students.
They fulfil an important pastoral role too – making sure their pupils are happy and safe in their home lives.
Many go far beyond what the job requires because they care for their pupils so deeply.
One experienced teacher has shared how she designed a system to help students handling tough issues while they are in her classroom.
Rachel Harder is a fourth-grade teacher in Hutchinson, Kansas, which is equivalent to teaching Year 5 in England
After attending a trauma conference, she came up with a special note she hands out to parents of pupils in her classroom at the beginning of the year.
Entitled ‘Handle With Care’, the message says: “If your family is experiencing difficulties at home, I would like to provide additional supports at school.
“I understand that you are not always able to share details and that’s okay. If your child is coming to school after a difficult night, morning or weekend, please text me ‘Handle with Care.’
“Nothing else will be said or asked. This will let me know that your child may need extra time, patience, or help during the day.”
The note is especially meaningful, considering the struggles students have faced during the last 18 months while the pandemic rages.
Harder said it “gives kids a few minutes of extra time or space.”
“We all have challenging mornings – we can’t find shoes, backpacks aren’t packed,” the teacher told FOX News. “It’s doing for others what we would like done for us when we have days that are hard.”
“A lot of teachers do this without needing a text from parents. We know that kids need time and space and love just by the way they walk in the room. But, a heads-up from parents is wonderful if we can get that.”
The teacher said parents don’t have to explain themselves when they send the message.
“They can just let me know it was a hard morning,” she added.
“I don’t need to know details, but parents like that — they know I’m keeping an extra eye on them. … I also usually text back and let them know how the morning is going.”
Describing how it worked with a student who has autism, Harder said it helped ensure “the rest of her day went smoothly.”
Her system has been widely praised since being shared on social media, with many other teachers vowing to offer something similar.
One mum wrote: “We need more teachers like this.”
Another teacher added: “Fantastic form of communication! So many times we are the last to know!”, while a third commented: “Such a great idea.”