SOUTH BRONX SCHOOL: Mental Health Blues

Sunday, October 24, 2021

Mental Health Blues

 Tomorrow is seven weeks since school began and being back in a building for the first time in 18  months (Not counting the 29 days this past summer). Tomorrow we start, or have we already. start checking on students mental health? What about teachers mental health? Mulgrew is going to Impact Bargaining. Again. Too many questions on the quiz.

For those 18 months I missed my routine. Leaving my house early, getting my sausage burrito and black coffee, looking for parking, the whole shebang. It's good in a way not to be home every day. 

What do I miss? The ease. The ease of classroom management there was for 18 months. No ticky tack little BS to deal with. 

So on that spirit, what are some things we as professionals might  be dealing with? Got to nip these things in the bud or it'll really manifest when these students are adults.

For instance; no whining about being first. First on line. First to the bathroom. First to lunch. First, first, first. I can understand why the students we work with want to be first, but hopefully they will and should outgrow such pettiness when they get older. It's sad to see an adult who insists on being first. 

The meltdowns are back. There weren't any meltdowns to deal with virtually. The students were at home and weren't in the same physical space as students and/or teachers. Now, with the slightest provocation there is a meltdown. I can understand why a student will meltdown, I empathize with a student that does. I am there for that student. They should and will get over reacting when something doesn't go their way when they get older. It's pathetic to see an adult act in the same manner. 

The lying is back. I understand why students lie. They feel inadequate about who and what they are as well as what they have. They need to make themselves feel bigger. They'll grow out of it when they get older. It's sad to see an adult who still hasn't figured it out yet.

The lack of empathy is back. The ability for a student to put themselves in somebody's shoes, to understand how another person feels. Social interaction has been missing for 18 months. But the students will come around. We have great students in my school and across the city. Will they still be like this when there are adults? Hopefully not. 

Most of all I understand the students feeling a sense, as well as a fear, of abandonment. Not just with everything that has gone on with their lives the last 18 months but just being a child with so much uncertainty. Abandonment can suck, and sometimes it can manifest itself in a self fulfilling prophecy when the students get to adulthood. 

Let's hope that the DOE's 43 question mental health check finds out sooner, rather than later, what might happen down the road.

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