Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

One Comment

  1. Being an elementary school teacher for 25 years has given me many opportunities to address this question, most recently just a couple weeks ago. I find that mostly what they need is love and support. Loads of hugs and a listening ear are critical at this age. Knowing they are not alone in loss is important to them. Having lost my grandparents, father, an aunt, and 3 uncles allows me to empathize with them.
    When 2 students lost a parent to cancer in different years, I actually took students to the funerals to show support. Recently I attended the funeral of a grandfather. The student lost both grandfathers within 2 weeks. The mother sent me a card thanking me for my presence that day and my care and support over time. Parents also need to know we are a source of support when needed.
    Classmates also need support, as often the death of someone else’s relative brings up past losses for them. We start our day with a Responsive Classroom technique called Morning Meeting. At this circle time children are allowed to share triumphs, tribulations, etc. and their classmates respond. It is a time to deal with things that occur both in and out of school in a supportive, trusting, safe environment. I find this to be an invaluable way to start the day, especially for children needing extra support.
    Of course, additional school staff such as psychologists and adjustment counselors would also be offered as resources if grief becomes overwhelming.

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