Top 10 Concerns for Educators

Educators play a critical role in a child’s everyday routine. School personnel including teachers, principals, assistant principals, guidance counselors, parent coordinators, paraprofessionals, school nurses and volunteers engage with students and their families to promote academic achievement in all grades.

Teachers can’t do it all! But, sometimes common problems in the classroom and hallways usually extend beyond “bad behavior” and could be indicators of certain health issues. Resolving health issues in school can have a positive impact on attendance and focus during the school day. Explore the topics below to learn more and find resources for your school.

1. Lack of Focus in Class
If a student cannot focus in class, it could be because of a health problem, behavioral or mental health issue, or trauma. Many of these problems can be managed so that your students can concentrate during class.
2. Disruptive Behavior
A student’s inappropriate or disruptive behavior could be the result of a behavioral or mental health issue, or a sign of trauma. Students having these difficulties can thrive, but may need extra support to help them manage their behavior and emotions, contribute positively in class, and succeed in school.
3. Extreme Emotional Reactions or Tantrums
Extreme emotional reactions can include explosive anger, excessive sadness or crying, and frustration with simple tasks. Students with extreme emotions could have a behavioral or mental health issue, or may have experienced trauma. A doctor or school counselor can help students cope with these emotions. There are also strategies educators can use to prevent and manage these types of behaviors.
4. Social Isolation
If a student appears socially isolated, this may be a sign behavioral or mental health issue, or a sign of trauma. There are things adults can do to make school feel safer for kids struggling in this way. A doctor or school counselor can often help with these issues so that a student can more easily make friends and succeed in school.
5. Trouble Following Directions
If a student often seems distracted or does not follow directions, it could be a sign of a hearing deficit or that they have difficulty focusing or managing emotions. Addressing these issues can help a student learn better, participate in class, and succeed academically.
6. Sleepiness
Students who fall asleep or appear tired in class may not be getting enough sleep at home. This could because of unstable housing, or a health issue like uncontrolled asthma or hunger. When kids get the rest they need, they are better prepared to learn and succeed in school.
7. Poor Attendance
Students who miss an average of two days per month are considered chronically absent. These students may fall behind in class and score lower on standardized tests. There are many issues that contribute to chronic absenteeism, including a student’s housing status, school climate and safety, and some health issues.
8. Frequent Headaches
Headaches in children are sometimes a sign of a health problem. Poor vision, dental pain, anxiety and hunger can all cause headaches. Managing students’ headaches can help them learn better and enjoy school.
9. Falling Behind Academically
Students who are struggling in school may have an underlying health problem or behavioral or mental health issue. A sudden change in a student’s academic performance may be a sign of trauma. Giving these students extra support can help them succeed in the classroom.
10. Struggling with classroom transitions
Students may have trouble transitioning into different parts of the school day or they may not be able to handle a change in the normal classroom routine. These could be triggers for students who have been exposed to trauma. Building consistency and sticking to routines can help children in the classroom.