While pandemic schooling has been challenging it seems to get harder over time to keep students motivated. Youth depression is skyrocketing and a sense of hopelessness about the future is rising. How can educators bring hope to their students when many of them feel hopeless themselves? Research has showed that hope is a learnable skill that has a tremendous impact on students success. Children who are hopeful have a higher self-esteem and good social skills. In addition, they are more likely to set and achieve goals that they make. In order to feel more hopeful one must address the elephant in the room. It is important to acknowledge the tumultuous year that we have all endured and talk about it. Let's face it there were no how to books that could have been used to deal with 2020 -2021. Neglecting to discuss current realities can make students feel that school is out of touch and push them to disengage. It is important for educators to take the time to allow students to share how they feel. Focus on one or two things that are troubling for children and address those specific areas so that students can freely vent frustrations and brainstorm coping strategies to help. Once students get what is bothering off their minds they can focus their thinking on what lies ahead for them. Many people overcome tremendous problems by talking about them and coming up with strategies on how to deal with them directly.
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