Needs of students changing in school
Kirksville, MO. —
Since the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, many have expressed how the needs for students and teachers are changing.
" Over the last 10-15 years, we've really started seeing schools having to change, the need of students changing and potentially roles of teachers changing," said Superintendent of Kirksville R-III Damon Kizzire.
As time progresses, things start to change and evolve and that is especially true in the classroom.
“Today not only do we provide lunch, but we provide breakfast, we provide nurses, we provide counseling," Kizzire said.
Kizzire says as educators, teachers want to help students in many ways as possible, but it's not always easy.
“It’s really putting our teachers in an uncomfortable role to play positions that they’ve never really been trained to do.”
Over the past several years, Kizzire says there has been an increased concern for students mental wellness and safety on school grounds.
“In a society now where safety is the number one concern for students at school opposed to the math, English, science, social studies, that as again as teachers we’re trained to do.”
Kizzire says there are several factors that have potentially contributed to the changing needs of students in school, two being bullying and technology.
“All that instant gratification that media sometimes gives I think is hard on the mental state, not even on our kids, but adults as well.”
Kizzire says having professional assistance on school grounds to help with mental health and safety is key.
“We’re engaging with Mark Twain and Preferred Family on how we can provide some social workers in our school. We do have a resource officer in place, we do have a juvenile officer on campus.”
Kizzire says teachers and administrators at Kirksville R-III work to find the balance between helping students and not being intrusive in their students lives.
He says it takes a full village to raise our kids.
“Through school help, through parents and through our community, I think that’s the three legged stool that we’re gonna work with. I think that’s gonna bring a lot of success.”
The school is also considering providing a school based health facility.
Kizzire says it would assist students with both physical and mental health.