Points of Interest

students

This page is dedicated to the sharing of points of interest (web sites, editorials, movements etc) regarding issues affecting our youth. These are all things that interest me….and hopefully my readers as well.

Understanding Teachers’ Perspectives on Student Mental Health

Time Out was written about a time when there were very few resources for teachers dealing students presenting with mental health issues…..twenty-three years ago.   This study, done only two years ago, seems to indicate that many teachers continue to feel inadequately prepared to deal with the myriad of needs facing them every day in the classroom.

“Student mental health constitutes another aspect of the complex issue of class composition and student  diversity in schools in terms of the challenges teachers face in working to meet a broad and growing range of student needs, including those related to mental health and well-being”

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n-KINDERGARTEN-largeDoes Class Size Matter?

 Once again, the world of Education is debating the need for smaller classes.  There is a “school”of thought that is actively promoting the idea that increasing the skill level of teachers should be sufficient to improve learning within the existing system, without the need for smaller class sizes.
I do believe in smaller classes.  I think it also speaks to the integration /segregation debate as a smaller class size could make the environment more child friendly for those kids facing a variety of challenges.  Much of the research would indicate the class size alone has an impact.  Other reports state that teacher education, rigorous curriculum, etc are the key.
Like most things in education, it can’t be summed up in a single philosophy.    It won’t ever be simple.  But to say that we can keep classes at 20 to 35 students and just improve the teaching doesn’t make sense to me.   It makes sense to the budget I imagine but not to the children.  yes, a very experienced, knowledgeable teacher will cope with a larger class better than a less experienced teacher would likely be able to.  But I can’t begin to imagine an argument that could prove to me that the same experienced, knowledgeable teacher wouldn’t do an even superior job with a smaller class.     We need both things to happen – regulated class size and more preparation for teachers if we are going to actually invest in our students.  I have a personal story for that one….I was lucky enough to have a grade 6 class one year with only 17 students….just luck of the draw.  It was a wonderful year.  I got to know them all extremely well and was able to try all sorts of interesting programming throughout the year.  The following year we were all promoted to grade 7 together but I had a class size of 33.  I was the same teacher, with the same high level of training and understanding of differentiation etc (this was after over a decade of being in special education) but I found myself struggling to keep track of those same 17 kids when faced with so many more personalities and learning styles to keep track of.  I felt like I was losing a few of them along the way  in spite of my best efforts. (many of the research reviews I read through support this as well…the “good” teachers did even better when faced with fewer students).  Here are a few reading points on the issue:
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Michael Kirby, former Liberal senator and past chair of the Mental Health Commission of Canada is pushing a campaign to prevent youth suicide.

http://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorials/2013/10/03/give_more_canadian_kids_better_access_to_mental_health_care_and_save_lives_editorial.html

partners

Partners for Mental Health http://www.partnersformh.ca/

A national charity dedicated to improving the way we think about, act towards and treat mental health

Creating a new state of mind in Canada

Through partnerships, public engagement and strategic initiatives, Partners for Mental Health seeks to transform the way Canadians think about, act towards and support mental health and people living with a mental illness.

A national charity accredited by Imagine Canada’s Standards Program, Partners for Mental Health aims to improve mental health in Canada by mobilizing and engaging Canadians to drive fundamental changes that result in:

  • increased awareness and attention toward one’s own mental health

  • greater understanding, acceptance and support for people living with a mental health problem or illness

  • increased access to mental health services, treatment and support

  • better workplace policies

  • more funding for programs and services

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The Right By You campaign is an initiative undertaken by Partners for Mental Health, in an effort to call on our government to create a National Suicide Prevention Fund.  I’m looking forward to working with the campaign over the next year as a speaker and community action worker.

 

Living with a teen is hard. Living without one is harder. Join us to better support teen mental health.

​It’s one of the most pressing issues facing our teens today – the lack of support for mental illness and its tragic consequences, such as suicide. 1.2 million Canadian children and youth are affected by mental illness – yet less than one-quarter of them are getting help. Suicide is one of the leading causes of death among our youth.

Let’s open the door so that we can drive more conversations regarding youth mental health, and get our children the help they need by calling on the government to establish a National Suicide Prevention Fund.

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http://rightbyyou.ca/en

 

 

 charity dedicated to improving the way we think about, act towards and treat mental health.

 

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We’re a national charity dedicated to improving the way we think about, act towards and treat mental health.

We’re a ntional charity dedicated to improving the way we think about, act towards and treat mental health.

We’re a national charity dedicated to improving the way we think about, act towards and treat mental health.We’re a national charity dedicated to improving the way we think about, act towards and treat mental health.

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