Read each statement below and determine whether you think it is true or false. Click on each statement to reveal the answer.

  • Child mental health issues are not an educator's primary concern.

    FALSE. Child mental health issues that are unattended in the classroom frequently result in disruptive behavior and lack of attention.

  • Most young children with emotional and social issues are educated in special education classrooms.

    FALSE. Most early grade children with emotional, social, or mental health issues attend regular classrooms and have limited access to outside services.

  • Teachers can address social and emotional issues by reading stories and facilitating group discussion.

    TRUE. Bibliotherapy, the use of books as tools to address common ground issues that concern a group of children, is often a useful classroom intervention that can diminish isolation and enhance emotional well-being in children.

  • Teachers can usually tell if children come to school with traumatic histories because they appear sad and withdrawn.

    FALSE. While traumatized children may be sad or withdrawn, they may also be loud, demanding, oppositional, aggressive, or unpredictable. Traumatized children may act as though they are experiencing something in the past as happening in the present. They sometimes have panic attacks. They may be preoccupied and inattentive.

  • Teachers are better off not knowing a child's histories and can assume all children have equal learning potential.

    FALSE. Teachers who have access to the child’s developmental history and social story can often make connections to behaviors that are hard to read, communicate with the child more effectively during difficult moments, feel more empathy for the child’s position, and design curricula and routines that support well-being and enhance learning potential.

  • Caregiving routines can support the emotional wellbeing of highly stressed young children.

    TRUE. Caregiving routines are meaningful for young children and should never be treated as incidental, “non-instructional” time. Caregiving routines teach children about self-worth, nurturing, connection to attachment figures, and separation from attachment figures. Modifications in lunchtime, toileting, rest time, and arrival and dismissal might constitute preventive mental health practice for many emotionally fragile children.

  • At school, children's emotional wellbeing is the responsibility of the school psychologist and school social worker.

    FALSE. Enhancing schoolchildren’s emotional well-being is the responsibility of every adult who works in the school building and is part of the school community.

  • Administrators play a crucial role in creating schools that support social and emotional wellbeing in children.

    TRUE. Administrators who are knowledgeable about the connections between emotional well-being and learning can support teachers in engaging in emotionally responsive routines, interactions, and curricula. They can train other staff members to communicate with children respectfully and develop school-wide practices that can enhance the mental health of the entire school community.

  • The emotional wellbeing of a teacher is a private matter and of no concern to a school director or principal.

    FALSE. Teaching is a demanding, often stressful profession. Teachers are often with large groups of children for the majority of the day without the opportunity to interact with other adults, which can result in feelings of isolation and burn-out. Administrators can enhance a teacher’s well-being by providing opportunities for interaction among staff members, regular professional development opportunities, teacher support groups, and an open-door policy for teachers who need to talk about difficult classroom matters.

  • Children who are emotionally needy do better in highly structured classrooms.

    TRUE and FALSE. Children who are emotionally needy often do better in classrooms that adhere to predictable routines with adults who are consistent in their response to children’s issues. However, classroom structure can support emotionally needy or fragile children only if: the caregiving routines are emotionally responsive; there are invitations to self-expression through play, art, writing, reading, and classroom discussion; adult-child relationships are valued; and the teacher’s consistent responses are respectful and empathic to children.