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dealing with loss


From: JPeterson-Shea (jpeterso_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Fri Feb 22 2002 - 07:12:45 PST

This has been a trying week at my school. I work in a relatively small
(250 students 9-12) rural school and it is very uneventful most of the
time. On Tues. we found out that one of our special students had
unexpectedly passed away that morning, he was very well liked- a neat
kid. That afternoon we learned that one of our graduates who still has
siblings in the district had died in a car accident that morning also.
It is very rare that we have this kind of situation.. This is the first
since I have been here- 7 yrs. It has been a difficult week to have the
kids attention. Today is also state wrestling and the funeral for the

My question. Is it better to jump right in and push for the kids to get
back on track or to give them time to deal with all of the emotions that
are there?

I was lucky in some ways I had "down time" built into my lesson plan.
I had already started using the "screamers" project (thank you for the
examples!! and ideas) We watched Labyrinth and now are watching Dark
Crystal- I already had the movies at home... I am also adapting the
assignment for my painting and drawing classes so that a lot of the
students are working on similar things. Drawing and Painting students
are going to create a fantastic setting and then create a creature(s) to
populate it.

Any input would be helpful.