Safe and Supportive Schools › Distractions
A student who's too distracted to listen is not learning.
Children worry about real issues and trivial ones. Sometimes they can't stop thinking about the bully they'll meet in gym, what happened to Mom at home last night or feeling friendless. But sometimes with the same intensity, they'll obsess about what to wear, what maybe someone might have said about them, or what's on TV tonight. Unless they have good adult guidance, they often can't distinguish between the meaningful and the ridiculous in their lives. They certainly can't get help if no one knows they need it, including themselves. Major or minor, all distractions block out learning and undermine student success.
All students need to feel wanted, safe and nourished to achieve to their highest capability. They can not learn if they're absent, suspended, or upset about something. Learning in school is disrupted when their families change their residences and ceases when students drop out. So schools and the public need to know how the kids are feeling about school itself and about certain aspects of their life outside of school. Teacher advisers or mentors need to stay in touch with kids' lives and feelings at least on a weekly basis, if not daily.