Grief in the Classroom
Why design this online space for teachers?
Because we know grief is present in our classrooms.
Whether it has arrived through the normative, predictable transitions and events of children living their daily lives, or through nonnormative, unpredictable, unforeseen events such as pandemics, serious illness, death and trauma – all of this brings loss and therefore grief and grieving.
Because we know grief is a healthy response to loss.
By supporting it we are supporting our children’s mental health and development.
Because we know teachers and classrooms play important roles in the life of a child.
When a child experiences a compassionate school community, when they experience a sense of inclusion and belonging in their grief, they are more likely to have a healthy grief experience.
We appreciate the sense of vulnerability that can arise with loss and stepping into uncomfortable conversations, the worries about “getting it wrong”, about “making things worse” – these are all very real and speak to our human capacity for compassion and our needs for safety and belonging.
We want to support teachers and companion them as they step into conversations about loss, about grief, about emotions, about when life doesn’t go according to plan. As teachers step into these conversations, they are fostering resilience and emotional intelligence in their classrooms.
In the next coming weeks we’ll be adding…
- A series of videos for deeper understanding of the various losses a child might grieve, and how that grief might show up in the classroom.
- A set of grief-related activities with detailed facilitation guides targeted for children in Kindergarten to Grade 6.
- A list of grief-related books that could be used in story-time.
- Ideas for self-care for teachers. Grief in the classroom affects teachers too!
And that’s just to get the portal started!