To Boost Learning, Start With Emotional Health
Ask any teacher to identify these students: The child who should be focusing on a math lesson, but instead is wondering whether her parents will fight again tonight, with words and hands. The student with chronic asthma who routinely misses school and whose grades suffer as a result. The group of friends who cannot play outside because it is not safe in their neighborhood.
Sadly, these scenarios are not new, and the bad news is that things are getting worse. The U.S. Census Bureau recently announced that the number of Americans living in poverty was the highest on record, with the number and proportion of children in poverty increasing. Our nation is already feeling the jarring effects of this spike.
The institution that will continue to bear the brunt of this impact is our schools, and not just because they are constantly having to do more with less. To put it quite simply, schools are where our children spend much of their time. And the number of children in our schools dealing with hunger, illness, violence, instability, homelessness, and other issues related to poverty is on the rise. A recent study in the Journal of School Health found that, in California, emotional health among...
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