MERN Forum Presentation id=748
MERN Forum # 47
Session: 4F
Author: Kira Coulter
Affiliation: Winnipeg School Division
Title : Mental health in high school: Reflections and concerns of a teacher onthe frontlines
Description : Two years ago I was tasked to design and deliver a course that addressed the mental health of students in my North End school in a practical and concrete fashion. The course was and is the first of its kind in the city and, as far as we are aware, the province. The goals of the course were to equip students with the knowledge they require to navigate their complex realities, to strengthen their self-worth and identity, and to forge a bond between themselves and their community. I was seeking to empower students, help them discover their already existing agency and encourage them become more empathetic and self- compassionate citizens. These goals were the result of a great deal of trial and error and self-reflection on what I saw working in the classroom, as well as observations on what was clearly not connecting with kids.
Drawing upon these experiences I will share what was most powerful and transformative for my students, and which topics and approaches I learned were ineffective at best, and damaging at worst. I will tentatively offer a possible way forward and share my deep concerns about what “mental health” in schools should not become.
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