Grief and the Holidays

October 31 2018

This stretch of the year (October – December) is typically a difficult one for individuals who have suffered a loss in their life. As a teacher, you might notice some changes in some of your students which could be linked to issues of grief and loss. If you know of specific students who have experienced the loss of a loved one, now is an important time to reach out to them. Many of your students, however, may have never shared their personal loss experiences with you. These “loss experiences” include the death of a family or friend, but can also include issues of divorce in the family or even a traumatic past experience such as a fire or natural disaster. Being aware of your student’s typical personalities and noticing any changes (such as those shown in the image below) during this time of the year is important. Refer these students to their school counselor. In the classroom, you can also help these students by giving them time to talk about their loved ones or past experiences. Click here for more information about recognizing and helping grieving students. It’s also important to recognize your own loss experiences and how they might be affecting your work in the classroom. Please reach out to me if you have specific questions about how to provide more support for these students in your classes or how you can work on your own self-care needs to address your personal loss experiences.

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