We all know how important it is that students have ways to communicate when they feel stressed.
The COVID pandemic has taken a toll on students with many feeling overwhelmed and isolated from friends and family. So right now, it’s especially important to support and improve emotional wellness.
Regularly checking in with students about how they’re feeling is typically the go-to method to improve mental wellbeing. But what are effective ways to check-in?
Here are 4 easy ways to check in with students to support and improve mental wellbeing during COVID-19.
1) monthly newsletters
You can send campus-wide or class-specific monthly newsletters that contain mental wellbeing support resources/blogs and allows students to check-in through email.
To check-in, attach a google form in every newsletter that asks about the highs and lows of the month. Then the form asks specifically about students’ mental state.
So students get less intimidated to fill the form, provide multiple choice answers that might say, “I’m great,” or “I’m struggling.” For younger students, have emojis that showcase a range of emotions.
Depending on the answers, you can determine whether or not you need to check-in 1-on-1 with someone.
2) weekly zoom calls
For classes that are 100% online only, teachers can recap the week’s challenges and successes with students through a zoom call.
They can invite students to share how they feel about anything that happened during the week, whether that be a difficult quiz or the delicious pumpkin pie that mom bought.
Doing a class discussion like this supports community bonding as students can find others that feel the same way that they do.
However, if possible, teachers can also have weekly calls 1-on-1 with students who are not as comfortable sharing in front of others. This is a great opportunity to get to know individuals on a deeper level.
3) weekly class activity
Teachers that are currently teaching in-person can have an interactive check-in activity every week.
This teacher created a feeling chart on her whiteboard with statements reflecting different moods (i.e. “I’m great,” “I’m meh,” etc) and had students stick a post-it note next to the mood that best matches theirs. Each post-it note had the student’s name behind it.
In-person activities like this are easy but effective ways to start the day by letting students know that how they feel matters.
4) digital app check-ins
Communicate through the students’ preferred medium, their phones!
Students are often on their phones (even when they’re not supposed to be), so why not interact with them on a platform they’re comfortable with?
Consider using check-in apps like Skodel that gives students a private platform to express how they’re feeling.
Skodel is a simple and engaging tool for students but also provides school admin the detailed insights they need to implement schoolwide support programs.
Teachers can request students to check-in via app at any time, which is especially helpful when emotional state can change rapidly.
Interested in getting Skodel for your school?
Pick the best way to regularly check-in depending on your circumstances to effectively support and improve student mental health.
And remember to stay consistent no matter what avenue of communication you use!
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What is your favorite way to check-in with students?
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