What Can Teachers Do To Support Students Better?


Mr. Richards classroom

Baran A., Staffer

 We all have diverse needs and different ways of coping with stressful situations. For students, it is the same. Some students will have dealt well with restrictions and school closures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. For others, it is challenging to cope with all the changes and uncertainty. Some students will return to school having experienced some level of stress, anxiety, isolation and grief. Some may have experienced increased violence at home.

 School teachers and personnel are critical in supporting children’s transition back to in-person classroom learning, particularly after extended periods of school closure. In addition to continuing to use the different skills teachers have been using to ensure their students’ learning and emotional well-being while schools were closed, these suggestions I think will help in classrooms and school.

 Also, Teachers should check in with students. Before teaching new academic content to students, teachers and school personnel should take time to check how students are doing. Remember that students may have difficulty concentrating at first or may need more time to get back into the routine of learning. Provide opportunities for students to take breaks, move around, and reconnect with their friends and peers. And teachers should seek suggestions from children on how to create a welcoming, safe, and comfortable classroom.

 Students can provide suggestions; help decorate the walls of the classroom with colorful and welcoming messages and work in small groups so they can support each other to catch up on learning. Let them know that being supportive of each other will help them get through this together. Teachers can foster feelings of safety and security by interacting and developing positive relationships with each student and using routines during the day to help students feel safe and secure.

The way you set up your classroom is also important like do the posters on the walls reflect a diverse community of learners? Will your students see themselves reflected in the books you’ve selected for your classroom library? Plan to use tools and resources that reflect diversity across backgrounds and appeal to a wide variety of cultures. Some students may come from homes with a strong oral tradition and show engagement and interest in the class activities by speaking up in class.

Others may have trouble sitting still and being quiet, they may benefit from a designated area in the classroom where they can move around during lessons and incorporate movement into their studies. Plan to set up different learning stations that support different learning methods, and rotate students between tasks. One station might include watching a video, another might require students to read an article, and a third might involve creating a piece of artwork or constructing a puzzle.

According to students from Mariner High School, “I think ways a teacher could support me better is by checking in and asking if I’m okay and giving more free time in class.”

Allow for free and flexible time whenever possible, so that students can use class time to their advantage. When possible, allow students to work in the way they prefer that day. Some might want to work independently and quietly while others listen to audiobooks or watch a video; and some students might opt for group activities, like playing a game that has learning objectives or collaborating to complete an assignment.

 According to Mr. Kim, “I build a relationship with my students and I feel like this way they feel more comfortable in my classroom and coming up to me for anything.” if teachers build a relationship with their students, this way they’ll feel more comfortable talking about their mental health.