In this era of ongoing covid-19 loss and collective trauma, it’s never been more important for educators to learn how to reach out to and communicate with grieving students effectively. Teachers are the critical sources of support for students, especially those who feel unable to ask questions or express emotions freely at home.
Today’s post offers eight ways that teachers can open the lines of communication with grieving students—and keep helpful conversations going in the future. These tips will help you reach out to students in sensitive ways after a loss in the family or the school community.
Tips to Communicate With Grieving Students
Lay the Groundwork
Create an atmosphere that will help students feel that they can talk about loss and grief. Show students that you are open to discussing complex topics and help them to understand the benefits of take my online exam. Get used to listening honestly – show emotional and intellectual ways during the conversation and respond directly to what the student is saying. Say things like, “You can ask me anything, even if it seems like a difficult thing.” When you place this foundation in your classroom, students will be confident that you are ready to discuss challenging things and offer something worthwhile when they come to you for support.
Help After Death
Suppose you hear that a student has suffered a loss, promise to call. If you know the student or family well, consider contacting the family at home by phone and expressing your condolences and support. Suppose you do not know the student well. Expressing condolences and acknowledging his loss can be more powerful and valuable. It will also make it easy for students to return to the class when they are aware that their teachers and other school staff are already familiar with and ready to provide appropriate support.
Offer Condolences and Support
A simple expression of care and interest lets students know that their teachers know and are interested in their situation. You can say:
“I’m sorry to hear about your father.”
“I want to let you know you’re in my mind. I’m sorry about your brother’s death.”
“I’m glad to see you here at school. I thought of you when you were at your mother’s grave.”
“How are you? I wonder how you’ve been since Grandma’s death.”
The most important thing this first contact offers is a compassionate presence – someone willing to provide support when students want or need it. Listen to your students’ reactions to your concerns and let them guide you; there is no need to force a discussion. People who mourn often find it most useful when someone listens openly to what they say.
Beware of Useless Comments
Sometimes comments made with the utmost intention may not help the grieving student. When we try to show empathy, we can say things like “I know what you’re going through” (if that’s not possible) or “You have to be very upset” (if there’s no way to know – what others are going through. Avoid comments that do not intentionally reduce or disrupt your student’s feelings.
Answer Students’ Questions in Simple Ways That Match Their Age
Students may not have the opportunity to ask questions at home, especially if they feel they need to protect their grieving parents. Honest, open, and non-judgmental answers are most useful for students. Think about euphemisms and remember that it is good, even better, to use the terms death and dying. Some students who are not prepared for exams due to the loss of their close one can ask for the benefits of pay someone to take my online exam Keep in mind that some questions need to be answered often, especially (but not exclusively) in young children. And sometimes, “I don’t know the answer” is the best answer.
Some of your students may be rhetorical questions about human suffering: “Why should people die?” or “Why do we have to work hard to love people when they are just dying?” These questions don’t have specific answers, but you can reply to the appropriate comments to continue the conversation.
Promote Continuous Communication
Students’ thoughts, concepts, and feelings change over time. Many are grateful for the ongoing opportunities to talk about how their experiences have changed. Students interested in talking more can ask questions, talk about their experiences, or continue the conversation in other ways. To help keep communication lines open, you can log in using open-ended questions.
Check-in With Other Staff Members
Another helpful strategy for maintaining productive communication is to talk to other school staff about their interactions with problem students. What kind of contact do some sad children have? How they deal with the loss?
Staff often have different perspectives on each student and can share new information about ways to deal with the child. One teacher may have the opportunity to see more strength and support in the student, while another may see more challenges. Together, these observations can always indicate what kind of communication the student needs and who is best on offer. For example, a coach who can talk to a student about his interest in baseball may be the perfect person to contact how the student copes with the loss.