Do your students have the tools to discern all of the information they are receiving about the COVID-19 pandemic and social injustice in the news? We are at a time when students are being bombarded with information and social media is their primary news source.
As educators we need to be aware of the emotional impact that the daily watching and reading about trauma is having on our students. It is a challenge to not be anxious with all of the uncertainty facing our communities. Conflicting news stories only make it worse and at times it can be hard to know if you're processing fact or fiction.
The NYC DOE Office of School Wellness Programs has designed lessons for their Health Education teachers that can greatly benefit all of us as we guide our students through these uncertain times. The remote lesson plan for Accessing Information about Coronavirus is an excellent resource that can also be used to assess any information around physical or emotional health beyond the pandemic. One of the resources included in the lesson plan that really stands out is the C.A.R.P Test for Evaluating Information Sources . Especially at times like this it is critical to look at the Currency, Authority, Reliability and Purpose of the information. By teaching students to look at the timeliness, source, correctness and reason the information is being dispersed you are giving them the analytical skills needed to serve themselves in all aspects of life.
There is a real opportunity to leverage your teaching partners in the Health and Physical Education departments. They are the teachers that engage with all the students in your school regardless of grade. The emotional and mental health of students is all of our responsibilities as educators. Health teachers have and continue to address and support students with their social and emotional needs. We are thankful that our students have many arms embracing them, even from a screen.