Excerpts from Chapter Four,
Slate Boards to Computers
Copyright 2004, Rev 2005,  All Rights

No one has a better feel of the emotional state
of the students than the teacher.
No one else is better qualified to deal with the
everyday occasions of emotional distress than
the teacher. That is to say that they are
qualified if they meet one requirement. The one
requirement is to always be a very human,
caring person.
You will not be the teacher who didn't know that
she had a special education student in your
class until late into the school year.
You will not be the teacher who didn't
understand why that student wasn't making the
You will not be the teacher who didn't bother to
consult with the student nor check with the
That teacher flunked and so did the student
because she simply didn't care.
A caring person will find ways to be acquainted
with the pupils, especially those who exhibit a
problem with the study or in behavior.
Most of what I think is required in the classroom
in regard to this topic can be done by the
educator with a heart.


There will be some times when we feel inadequate to the task. That's OK; it is a step in the
right direction. Then you will seek out the in-residence school counselor. Sometimes the
counselor in consultation with you will work with the child.
There will be times when more help is needed, and you have resources available to make the
appropriate referral to social, medical, and sometimes religious services.
Not to follow this protocol, is to make a referral when all that student needed was a few
encouraging words or a good listener, which should easily come from the caring heart.
There is always detrimental labeling when a student is referred. If not by the teacher, then by
other students.  Referrals must be thoughtfully made, but only after the educator reaches out
the hand and heart.   We still live in a society where emotional problems taint us.
If what is being suggested here is too much to ask of the teacher, then I hope that teacher will
consider another profession where dealing with emotional issues is less required.
Always put yourself in the shoes of the student, and you will be adequate for most occasions.
Nothing said here diminishes the work of a mental health specialist.
What I am saying is that all of us have a role to play in the mental health of others and no one,
professional or not, has a corner on caring and the ability to reach out to the hurting.