Who knew a little Post-it Note could make such a great difference? Well, teachers, obviously.
A photo was shared online of a teacher's brilliant way of teaching her students to express themselves. The teacher's white board has different levels of how well someone is doing, and post-its lined up next to each category.
The image was shared online by Facebook user, Tara Holman.
"Wow. This teacher has her students write their name on back of a sticky note and place it on the chart each Monday. She then talks privately throughout the week with each child about where they placed the sticky note and if they need to talk.
A weekly check in on her students. ❤️❤️
Maybe we could pass this along to teachers."
The brilliant board has categories like "I'm great", "I'm okay", "I'm meh", "I'm struggling", I'm having a tough time & wouldn't mind a check-in" and "I'm not doing great."
Each portion has post-its with the student's name written on the back. The teacher can check on the students who are having a harder time, and all the students learn to think about and assess their own mental health.
It's received a lot of positive responses.
Upworthy found the originator of the idea. Sort of.
Teaching can be a difficult job, so there are many online groups for them to share their ideas for the classroom and maybe make things easier for each other.
Erin Castillo came up with this idea from such an instance. Another teacher she followed, Lindsey Paull, used this method to help other teachers. She has a Facebook page for other teachers to try and be "Okay teachers".
It was here that Paull was using a digital chart to allow teachers to reflect on their own mental state. Castillo thought it was a brilliant, and adapted the chart to be used for her students.
She shared it on her Instagram, and in other teaching groups helping it to spread.
"Made this mental health check in chart after seeing @missjohnstonsjourney use a digital version for teachers on her #okayteacher Facebook page.I asked my students to write their names on the back of a post-it note so I could check in with ones in the bottom two sections.I explained the green section as them struggling, but speaking to another adult or trying to work through it themselves.
"I was able to start some check ins today, and holy cow these kids. I love them. My heart hurts for them. High school is rough sometimes, but I was happy that a few were given a safe space to vent and work through some feelings.
"I also like that students could visually see that they aren't alone in their struggles. It was a beautiful minimum day focusing on self care and mental health.
"💟UPDATE: just added a printable version with detail instructions so you can do this in your classroom! It's FREE!💟"
Since then, it's been shared in other teaching groups, and a free version with instructions on Teachers Pay Teachers.
Castillo even made herself available to answer questions people had.
Students are experiencing a lot of mental health problems. Different things can be causing it, but solutions often come from strong support from the adults in their lives. Parents are one part of the equation, but teachers are another.
Additionally, it's difficult to help if you don't know what's wrong. This board teaches kids to reflect on themselves and show that it's okay to ask for help.
By contrast, a teacher who sees a child constantly selecting one of the dourer options can know to put a little more effort in with that student, or share their state with their parent.
It's what teachers do best. Help their kids.
This simple board can probably be adapted for home use, or even among your friends. You're never too old to learn to assess and share your own mental state.