October 2008
Vol 5 No 10

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Teachers.Net Gazette Vol.5 No.10 October 2008

Cover Story by Eric P. Jensen
A Fresh Look at
Brain-Based Education

More than 20 years since it was first suggested that there could be connections between brain function and educational practice, and in the face of all the evidence that has now accumulated to support this notion, BBE guru Eric Jensen urges educators to take full advantage of the relevant knowledge from a variety of scientific disciplines.

Harry & Rosemary Wong: Effective Teaching
Boaz City Schools:
Professional Learning Teams

»Change Isn’t Just for PoliticsCheryl Sigmon
»Are you an Informal Teacher-Leader?Hal Portner
»Strategies to Meet Standards, Promote Reading and Boost SkillsSue Gruber
»Helping Children Cope with LossLeah Davies
»The Future Votes NowTodd R. Nelson
»The Brain and SleepMarvin Marshall
»The Busy Educator's Monthly FiveMarjan Glavac
»Dear Barbara - Advice for SubsBarbara Pressman
»My Supervisor Hates Me! & Are These Kids Just Crazy?Kioni Carter

»Curriculum Happens
»Spam! Spam! and More Spam!
»FHA-Hero Program Creates Leaders
»October 2008 Writing Prompts
»A “Disruptive Behavior” Plan
»More Than A Desk - Changing the Learning Environment
»A Teaching Guide for Night Journey to Vicksburg
»Computers in the Classroom
»Silent Mentoring
»Cyberbullying Tips for Educators
»Perfectly Normal

»The T-Netters Who Saved My Life
»Teacher Starts Rock Band to Help Students Learn
»Printable Worksheets & Teaching Aids
»School Photographs for October 2008
»Lessons, Resources and Theme Activities: October 2008
»Video Bytes: Brain Based Education, Monday Morning, Rockin' the Standards and More
»Today Is... Daily Commemoration for October 2008
»Live on Teachers.Net: October 2008
»The Lighter Side of Teaching
»Apple Seeds: Inspiring Quotes for Teachers
»Alternatives to Halloween Party and Costumes
»Newsdesk: Events & Opportunities for Teachers


The Teachers.Net Gazette is a collaborative project
published by the Teachers.Net community
Editor in Chief: Kathleen Alape Carpenter
Layout Editor: Mary Miehl

Cover Story by Eric P. Jensen

Effective Teaching by Harry & Rosemary Wong

Contributors this month: Kioni Carter, Marvin Marshall, Cheryl Sigmon, Marjan Glavac, Todd R. Nelson, Hal Portner, Leah Davies, Barbara Pressman, Tim Newlin, James Wayne, Ellen Porter, Bill Page, Lisa Bundrick, Panamalai R. Guruprasad, Mamie Pack, Chick Moorman and Thomas Haller, Derek Randel, Michael Biasini, Barb Stutesman, Ron Victoria, Susan Rowan Masters, and YENDOR.

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Leah Davies
Archive | Biography | Resources | Discussion

Helping Children Cope with Loss

The death of a parent, family member, friend or even a pet can be devastating to a child. Yet, there are actions school counselors and teachers can take to help.
by Leah Davies, M.Ed.
Regular contributor to the Gazette
October 1, 2008

The death of a parent, family member, friend or even a pet can be devastating to a child. Parental separation, divorce, relocation, illness or accident may be traumatic as well.

Yet, there are actions school counselors and teachers can take to help children cope with loss. When working with hurting children, remember, they do not "get over" a significant loss, instead they learn how to live with it

How can you help?
  1. Acknowledge a child's grief through kind words, gentle actions, and unconditional support. Whenever possible, coordinate with the family so that the child receives consistent messages. Help the parent see that protecting the child from the truth can have negative consequences like increasing confusion, fear and resentment. Together, help the child face reality by using simple, straightforward language like "He died," not "He has gone to sleep," or "She's gone away."
  2. Show understanding by being compassionate and offering your calm, silent presence. If the child shares an emotion, reflect and validate it by restating the feeling. For example, say, "That was very sad." Saying, "I know how you feel," is not helpful because one can never truly know the pain of another. Use books and workbooks which deal with loss in helpful ways.
  3. Reassure the child that feelings of shock, sadness, loneliness, anger, anxiety, fear and guilt are normal reactions to grief. Expect some new behaviors and provide a safe emotional outlet for negative feelings. These may include tearing up old magazines, punching a pillow, scribbling on paper, pounding clay or blocks, writing down feelings, yelling, or crying. Let the child know that it is natural to feel angry, but it is not okay to hurt others.
  4. Provide opportunities for the child to participate in activities designed to help in the healing process. These may include: writing, reading, telling stories, creating crafts, planting plants, making a memory book or treasure box, paying tribute, participating in rituals.
  5. Accept that each child's experience with loss is unique; the reaction can be intense as well as sporadic. A grieving child often needs to take a break and engage in play activities since emotions concerning loss are so powerful. As a child passes through life's developmental stages, these feelings often resurface. Attempts to hurry the healing process can be detrimental.
  6. Provide a support group for bereaved children who are facing similar circumstances. The group can provide acceptance, companionship, and an environment where emotions and concerns can be freely expressed. If prolonged periods of change in a child's temperament, eating, sleeping, and/or interests occur, additional professional attention may be required.

Used by permission of the author, Leah Davies, and selected from the Kelly Bear website []. 8/2000

» More Gazette articles...

About Leah Davies...

Leah Davies received her Master's Degree from the Department of Counseling and Counseling Psychology, Auburn University. She has been dedicated to the well-being of children for 44 years as a certified teacher, counselor, prevention specialist, parent, and grandparent. Her professional experience includes teaching, counseling, consulting, instructing at Auburn University, and directing educational and prevention services at a mental health agency.

Besides the Kelly Bear materials, Leah has written articles that have appeared in The American School Counseling Association Counselor, The School Counselor, Elementary School Guidance and Counseling Journal, Early Childhood News, and National Head Start Association Journal. She has presented workshops at the following national professional meetings: American School Counselor Association; Association for Childhood Education International; National Association for the Education of Young Children; National Child Care Association; National Head Start Association; National School-Age Child Care Alliance Conference.
Dedicated to Helping Children Thrive

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