I was asked to come visit a local elementary school where two fourth grade teachers shared the issues they were facing. They explained that each year was getting progressively worse as children had more mental health issues, less parental support, zero fear of discipline, no respect for authority and no concern for their academics. The teachers openly wept as they shared their frustration at what their students were facing and the lack of solutions.
With more and more emotional disconnection in the home, the schools are facing more and more challenges. Once a center of education, schools have now become a place of refuge and safety. Many students receive meals, clothing, life skill training, after school daycare, nurse care, mentors, tutoring, child advocate, surrogate parents, counseling, and disability therapies within the confines of a school day.
With one in 5 children suffering from mental health issues today, teachers are personally affected by the exposure to these conditions – anxiety, depression, bipolar, ADHD, ODD anger and withdrawal. That’s quite the load for an educator to bear.
On top of the students’ mental health and fundamental needs, teachers are also pressured to equip their students to pass state required tests. Often, their job is measured on the success of their test scores.
In short, teachers are raising children!
The most effective way to deal with this problem is to offer volunteer community role model to our kids. Mentoring helps kids find value and purpose.
If you are interested in learning more about how mentoring can build bridges to healthier, happier kids, be sure to explore the “Bring an IAM4kids Program to My Community” page of the site.