Instagram | @makingastatementinsped

This Viral Chart Was Created By A Teacher To Check In On Her Students

Being a teacher is far more than just writing things on the blackboard and getting kids to memorize them. In fact, many of the least effective teachers over-rely on such methods.

These days, a lot more is understood about the different ways people learn and teachers need to become masters of designing well-rounded lesson plans that give their students the best chances for success.

Since they also spend so much time with students, teachers can also have a great effect on their student's mental health.

Not all kids have someone they trust enough at home to talk to or families with the financial resources needed to seek professional support.

While teachers may not be able to provide the same level of support as a professional, sometimes a sympathetic ear is enough.

Unsplash | Jeffrey Hamilton

But they need to know which kids are struggling in order to know who to help.

Many struggling kids don't realize they can ask for help.

Instagram | @makingastatementinsped

And even if they know, they may not be comfortable asking for it in person.

Inspired by a post on a teacher group, Special Ed teacher Erin Castillo created a way for her students to let her know when they need her.

So she was looking for a simple, anonymous way to keep tabs on how all of her students were feeling.

Instagram | @makingastatementinsped

The chart just needs a few rows, a pen, and a stack of post-its.

Each section indicates a general mood, from feeling great to "I'm in a really dark place."

Kids write their names on the back of a post-it and stick it in the section that they feel matches their current mood.

Erin makes a point of checking in privately with anyone who puts their post-it in the bottom two sections.

Unsplash | Matthew Henry

The "I'm Struggling" row is for kids who are figuring things out or working with another adult and don't need a check-in right then.

She shared it on her Instagram, leading to other teachers emulating it.

Facebook | Suicide Awareness/Prevention

But it went truly viral after a version by teacher Jessie Cayton was shared on the Suicide Awareness/Prevention Facebook page.

She pointed them to Erin as the originator of the chart.

Part of why it works is that the kids can see the other post-its in their section.

Instagram | @missginfourth

Even if they don't know whose they are, they can see that they aren't alone in feeling that way.

While many teachers have DIYed their own versions, others requested a printable, so Erin has made one available for free download at Teachers Pay Teachers


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