ECSCA members, In view of the steady stream of stories of hate, racism, prejudice, misogyny, cruelty, inequality and most recently the tragic deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor, we find ourselves facing the challenge of supporting, educating and engaging our students during waves of protests and unrest. As school counselors, our mission is to advocate for the development of all students. Our student’s social and emotional well-being is a paramount concern. We therefore, have an obligation to discuss these issues with our students. Navigating discussions about race relations, police brutality, and systemic racism can be challenging for school counselors even during normal times. But grappling with these topics during a pandemic, when our school communities can’t learn together in person, compounds the challenge. Students who may have been willing to share fears for their safety in person might not open up over a class wide Zoom. School counselors, teachers, administrators, staff who previously picked up on students’ emotions while watching them in the hallways, classrooms, or offices now have no window into their frames of mind. Some students may not even have reliable Internet access to join live group or class. Still, we know as school counselors that it’s during these challenging times that we are needed the most. I have compiled the following list of resources to help you engage in conversations with your students and their families: https://www.njsca.org/news/2020/5/28/how-school-counselors-can-support-after-social-racial-events https://www.schoolcounselor.org/school-counselors/professional-development/learn-more/helping-students-troubling-times
Please be mindful of your own self care and I hope you find the resources and links helpful.
Promoting the leader in us all,
Greg Jenkins, President
Essex County School Counselor Association