Ways to Provide Support
Following a crisis, educators should be prepared for additional trauma, trigger responses and questions coming into your classrooms the following morning. It is not unusual for students to act out, draw inward, and display displaced emotion in reaction to the news headlines. We would like to offer a few lesson plans that can be used in your classrooms or advisory sessions to:
a) Help children process their emotions in a safe, independent way
b) Help facilitate conversations about feelings that may not yet have words
c) Address deeply-entrenched cultural biases that invoke fear or self-doubt
d) Remind youth of their power and agency to push back against hate
Lessons to Help Heal Schools
An important DEI note on doing these lessons right now:
To those teachers from marginalized groups holding histories of violence, teaching these lessons may be particularly painful. Take care of your own emotional needs before trying to hold this space for others. We hope these resources are supportive of you at this moment.
To teachers whose identity groups are not historically affected by this kind of violence, allyship is powerful and can be essential to healing communities. Be sure to educate yourself and actively listen to members of marginalized groups if they feel compelled to talk about the event.
The following metacognitive journal and guided drawing prompts were formulated by members of the National Teen Board in response to the deeply tragic gun violence that occurred in Uvalde, Texas.
Students can draw or write how they feel at the beginning of the conversation and at the end of the conversation. We build a growth mindset when we see how our feelings grow and shift over time.
Metacognitive Journal Prompts:
- Were you surprised by this incident? Why and why not?
- Who does America belong to?
- What can you do in your community to rebuild hope?
- Do you feel safe? Why or why not?
- How do you wish the adults in your world would recognize this incident?
- How does this impact your community? How do you think it will impact other communities?
- How have your feelings evolved about (guns, race, or mental health care) in America?