This is a very serious question. What is causing such a dramatic increase in anxiety, depression and emotional meltdowns among students of all ages in our schools? Social and emotional development challenges and children who can't adjust to routines and structure was the primary discussion at a family Easter gathering yesterday. I felt sad for the parents and even sadder for the kids. What is society doing right/wrong and what things need to change in the schools? Please do not let this string evolve into a political blame game or bullying of any group or population. My heart just broke for family members as I listened to the dinner conversation. After reading and research now, it seems that psychological problems are a nationwide epidemic.
Funny this should come up. Just the other day I was having a conversation with my 10 year old grandson, who said "Gramps, you're the only one in this whole family I'm afraid of." It sounds awful, but I know exactly what he meant. He knows that there is a line he is not allowed to cross, and that if he does there will be consequences, and I have to say - the only thing that kept me in line when I was a kid was that I knew if I screwed up, I was going to have to deal with my Dad, and that was a prospect that was unthinkable.
Another point I'll make is that the question is framed in such a way which assumes that school isn't the source of the problem and also that it should be the source of the solution.
Need more programs in melrose for divorced parents. Fathers are not taking part in children's life. Dead beat dads. More programs should be set up for emotional issues it causes the family. Schools hide this topic.
I do not believe this is a school-specific problem to be solved only by the schools, but the fact is that if the schools don't find some way to deal with the increased numbers of kids who are showing up unable to learn and mentally manage a school day, they can't teach anyone. These kids dictate the day, in many cases. I have been a public school teacher for around 25 years now. I believe that one of the school-based reasons that created these issues came out of the increased academic demands that came into play with standards-based education- and by that, I mean how every district in the state now needs to be teaching the same things at the same time to be ready for the standardized testing, despite the fact that districts have their own unique characteristics, cultures, and issues. So, for example, when I started teaching, most kindergarten students started the year unable to read. Many of them ended the year unable to read. Reading was taught in first grade, and that was the year you were expected to start learning to read. There was no worry or concern about kindergarten students not reading. Kindergarten was spent teaching pre-reading skills, social skills, listening skills, like how to sit, look at the person who is talking, respond to them. There were imaginative play areas in every class. Kids were given many opportunities to interact, deal with conflict, compromise. Kids were taught how to ask questions, how to respond to peers and teachers, how to manage time. Kindergarten was where you learned how to "do" school. Now, the expectation is completely different. Kids who start kindergarten without knowing hard to read (for example) are seen as ones to watch. By midyear, if they are not reading, we are putting them in reading recovery programs. They learn pretty quickly, "Wow, I am so bad at this reading thing that I have to be sent out of the class every day so the reading teacher can fix me." Teachers are forced to teach kids who are not developmentally or emotionally ready all sorts of skills, because the standards-based curriculum demands it. There has been a steady decline in kindergarten teachers being able to "teach school"- to take time to help kids develop the skills needed to be able to learn. Of course, this is one example, and one small part of the problem. There are many other examples of how the universal standards have sucked the life out of teaching the whole kid, but this is one.