| By Heather Hayes |
Having been thrust into this unchartered territory, we can feel like a broken compass, where the directional needle spins aimlessly. No matter how hard we try to navigate or aim the compass, the arrow doesn’t steer us toward our desired path. We become lost, anxious, and afraid, grasping for much-needed tools to guide us back to normalcy.
The reality is that our normal has been drastically altered. Now, more than ever, as parents, educators, siblings, wives, husbands, friends, and employees, we have to rely on our own inner compasses to navigate the unknown. This prospect is daunting and scary—especially for our children and for our students. During these times, we ask ourselves, how do we protect the mental health and wellness of our children? What on earth do we do?
We take a deep breath. We find the good. We model hope.
We exude unconditional love. We show compassion. We give grace. We establish routines, guidelines, and expectations. We are flexible and forgiving. We make the best of the “now” that we have been given.
We are grateful.
In committing to demonstrate this, we crave a compass of compassion and of knowledge to guide us as we nurture and protect the mental well-being of children during these unsettling times and beyond. Often, it’s having just the right resources at one’s fingertips that can make all the difference. Therefore, I invite you to reach into the social and emotional learning resources curated specifically for our elementary and secondary students, parents, and educators—and to use the tailored content as you find your inner compass to help our children navigate new paths. And to remind them that no matter the path they are thrust upon, they are never, ever alone.
Meet the Author
Heather Hayes is a senior education consultant with Gale, a Cengage Company. Heather earned her BA in English from James Madison University and a master of teaching with a concentration in English from Virginia Commonwealth University. As a former English literature teacher and in her role as an education consultant, Heather has a passion for ensuring that we teach the whole child, and that both the mental health and wellness and the academics of every child is fostered, nurtured, and protected—paving the way to each child’s unique path to success!