Teachers are striking from coast to coast – not just over money or benefits, but over the lack of resources necessary to support student mental health and social emotional development. Educators are sending a clear, urgent message to local, state, and federal governments and the public: Student learning will not be maximized until student social emotional wellness is prioritized.
All students deserve our best – and especially those who experience racial inequity, toxic stressors, cultural invalidation, homelessness, and other trauma. Today’s students deserve teachers who care about their overall wellness as much or even more than their academic well-being and success. Yet inequities abound, and the most vulnerable students who most need resources are often the least likely to receive such support.
So how can we ensure that all students thrive? By building and sustaining the critical wellness approach shared in All Students Must Thrive. This book brings together three theoretical frameworks relevant for equity in schools – wellness, critical pedagogy, and critical race theory – providing a structure through which to apply the authors’ strategies and approaches. Offering a multilayered approach to supporting students and their families holistically, this book helps educators of all levels nurture the social emotional wellness that is essential for all students to thrive. Are you ready to transform today’s schools into tomorrow’s hubs of learning?
Whether you are an educator in a small rural, large urban, or midsize suburban district – whether the student population is largely socioeconomically disadvantaged, racially segregated, or a balanced mosaic from diverse backgrounds – this book will help you understand how to demonstrate to students that they do matter, that their wellness is essential, and that they can thrive in their quest to learn. It will not be easy work; it will not happen overnight. But you can make a difference in these student’s lives. You can disrupt teacher apathy to catalyze change. You can challenge the status quo and reimagine the outdated educational models of the past, helping to create strategic alliances and ecosystems of support that refuse to allow students to fall through the cracks. You can transform our schools and help our students reach their full potential – especially those often overlooked and underserved.
So be bold. Be courageous. Be reflective and dedicate yourself to improving leadership, practice, policy and research that benefits our students. Keep fighting, protesting, praying, and working until all of our students have the education they deserve – because they are worth it.
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