Educators in competitive schools all over the world feel trapped in this bind, and they unwittingly maintain unhealthy school cultures in which their students bear the cost. Too frequently, the students (who are highly vulnerable in their still-developing status), are overscheduled, overworked, and therefore, overwhelmed by increasing feelings of stress and pressure. These feelings can lead to incapacitating levels of anxiety and depression, and to various manifestations of those emotional conditions: substance abuse, eating disorders, cutting and other forms of self-injury, and all too often, suicide.
So, now what? How can educators (administrators and teachers) begin to make changes that reflect their primary commitments to “educate their students in healthy, safe and balance ways,” while simultaneously not risking their schools’ reputations, or their “brand” as high quality schools that help students get admitted to similar “high quality” colleges?
NSRF and Dr. Gleason developed the “Now What” workshop to help participants collaborate in identifying specific practices that contribute to their students’ ongoing struggles, and identify concrete and effective ways of changing those practices. The result is a plan to help the schools (1) reclaim their primary commitments to educate their students in healthy, safe and balanced ways, and (2) simultaneously create healthier school cultures that respect the developmental integrity of their students.