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 suicide and other tragedy's with children 
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Sometime when we teach, we will encounter student's dealing with suicide and other life tragedy's, including events like 9/11. What will you do as a teacher to help a child or a whole class to deal with and understand what is going on????

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Elizabeth Cooner


Wed Nov 17, 2004 7:21 pm
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I would have a counselor come in or just have the students talk about it with some guidelines in place so it would be a safe place to talk about the topic. However, I'd only answer questions they'd ask as opposed to offering a lot of extra information that might not be appropriate for them to hear. In addition, I might do a brief lesson relating the topic to things they do understand or bring in a novel or book that might be helpful.

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Beth Koplin


Mon Nov 22, 2004 3:18 pm
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Creative writing, free writing, and a personal journal. I will be keeping a journal, in order to make a good example. I would promise strict confidentiality, but I will tell students that if they feel they would like me to respond to them privately, I will. ALso, I would like to give them the option to share what they write, or even to allow a close peer to read an entry only if they want to. Just opening lines of communication in a safe, confident way.

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Nina Pinto


Mon Nov 22, 2004 3:43 pm
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I agree with Nina - this is a perfect opportunity for journal writing. It is so important for teachers to help their students deal with important issues like death, suicide and other tragedies that may come up.

My number one priority in the face of a tragedy like this would be to put my ideas on hold - my lesson plans and my perfect agenda - and let my students talk, write, and struggle with this event in their lives. I want my classroom to be a welcome place for my students to bring their lives and figure out how to deal, cope and survive even the worst tragedies.

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Kate Padgett


Mon Nov 22, 2004 3:57 pm
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As a teacher I would have the guidance counselors come in and talk to the student or students about the situation and what happened. Also, I would share my feelings with the children in order to calm them down and let them know that its ok to feel what they are feeling. Also, I would ask the parents to talk with their children to help them understand what happened and why it happened. Children feel safe with their parents and they would feel better hearing things from their parents than someone else. Also, I would be the best listener that they could ever ask for. A friend always listens.

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Amanda Davidson


Mon Nov 22, 2004 3:58 pm
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When I was in Middle School, we had a speaker that came in and talked about suicide. His daughter had committed suicide and I think it opened a lot of kids eyes to the fact that when teenagers commit suicide, it isn't only their life that is affected. The kids saw how painful it was to her father. I still remember it from middle school, so it was pretty powerful, I think kids would benefit from some similar experience around that age.

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Leslie Woody


Tue Nov 23, 2004 5:37 pm
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We should love them and make them feel loved. (everyone else's ideas are fabulous!)

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Ashley Huskins


Tue Nov 30, 2004 11:04 pm
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This is a sad topic that we will almost definately be forced to deal with at some point; I was rescently made more aware of the situation when i heard that a kid at my former high school killed himself in the dorm's. I honestly think that academic stress and other factors are a big part of what happeded to this kid, and i think that lower stress methods of evaluation, as well as closer student teacher relationships could help prevent this kind of thing from happening.


Mon Dec 06, 2004 10:12 am
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