More Resources for Educators and Parents

by Responsive Classroom on

Our appreciation for social media grew quite a bit when we asked "Educators, how was the day?" on the Responsive Classroom Facebook page on Monday afternoon, and over 100 people responded. We were so glad to hear from you! Your stories reflect the range of what elementary educators are going through this week after the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Thank you for letting us know that the suggestions we offered over the weekend helped you navigate the first days back. Here are a few more resources we've collected for you:

How Adults Can Help Children

The list of resources assembled by the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL) links to information for educators, parents, and caregivers from many highly-regarded organizations, including the National Association of School Psychiatrists, the American Psychological Association, the Center for School Mental Health, and Teaching Tolerance.

This excerpt from Fred Roger's last book for parents is another helpful resource along the same lines. We particularly appreciated his emphasis on the idea that "no matter what children know about a 'crisis,' it's especially scary for children to realize that their parents [or teachers] are scared." And here is a version in Spanish!

Age-Appropriate Conversations

These three online articles give specific advice about how to discuss violence and traumatic events with children at difference ages.

  1. PBS Parents offers recommendations for talking about events in the news with preschoolers, ages 6–8, and 9–11.
  2. Common Sense Media does something similar, but breaks down the age ranges a bit differently.
  3. The tips in this one are directed at people who are interacting directly with children who have survived a traumatic event. These guidelines are for teachers and parents in two age ranges: under 5 and age 6 and up.

Getting Back to Normal

For many children, the most helpful thing educators and parents can do in challenging times is to maintain (or restore) a sense of normalcy. Kylene Beers' blog post on that idea is particularly eloquent.

Read-Aloud Ideas

The new "Books About Kindness" board on the Responsive Classroom Pinterest page features a growing collection of picture books for children featuring characters who behave in particularly kind, loving, and selfless ways.

Recovery Advice for Affected Communities

This 10-page booklet, produced by the Department of Education, includes advice for teachers, students, administrators, counselors, parents, and coaches in schools that have been directly affected by natural disasters and other traumatic events.

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"No Ordinary Monday"

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"What to Say to Parents Now"