The Pinnacles Group Blog

Student support services are essential

Posted By on October 14, 2010

Recently I had the privilege of presenting to a group of social workers and counselors in Cheyenne. Their greatest concerns were not test scores, graduation rates, and winning ball games, but with the health and safety of their students. They were especially concerned about those who came from backgrounds where there was little support and often significant abuse and neglect. Knowing students who are experiencing extreme trauma and anxiety do not learn the same as other students, and also knowing that teachers are often unaware of that fact, created a great deal of frustration. When they did discuss these issues with teachers, who respond with the argument that they are not going to “coddle” one student over another one, or that they don’t have time to pay that much attention to that one student out of 25, or who are already so overwhelmed with the mandates of increasing test scores that they just can’t do any more, they feel tremendous sadness and can only continue to offer their support. One obvious method of approaching this problem is creating a coalition of support of all the adults who work with these students, rather than continuing to work in a silo without discussing the child’s well-being with one another. Under the heading of Professional Development, I have posted a number of great resources for principals, teachers, parents, and support specialists that may help. And God bless you for your work.

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