Challenging experiences can affect our brains and bodies in a number of ways - making it harder to eat, sleep, and focus. Economic uncertainty, civil unrest, and the pandemic have impacted our sense of safety, feelings of hope, and sense of connectedness. We are worried about the future, scared of getting sick, and isolated from our friends and family.
Given this reality, our students’ well-being has been a major focus this Fall.
When I was working as a school therapist in Philadelphia, one of my coworkers would ask me everyday if my cup was full. He would remind me that it’s not possible to pour from one that is empty. This summer, I asked my FCS colleagues the same thing, but I contextualized the inquiry in terms of safety, hope, and connectedness.
- How full is your sense of safety?
- How full is your sense of hope?
- How full is your sense of connection?
These are basic human needs, and we cannot be our best, brightest selves unless those needs are met.
Now that school is in full swing, these are questions I ask our students. How safe are you feeling today? How connected? How hopeful? I listen to what they have to say and together, we come up with ways to fill those cups. We share that washing our hands makes us feel safe, chatting with friends online helps us feel connected and immersing ourselves in nature helps us feel hopeful. Every small drop helps.
You may find it useful to discuss these same questions and think about ways to fill your own cups as a family.
Maya Angelou once said, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” This year we are placing the focus on helping our students feel safe, hopeful and connected.