One Powerful Question

By asking students a simple question, a teacher can create trust and understanding, which are two critical components for effective teaching and learning. This compelling article (“What Kids Wish Their Teachers Knew”) gives a real world example of how a teacher can encourage children to share their dreams and struggles in a safe and inviting way. It also reveals some of the hardship, trauma and stress students face outside of the classroom.

Social-emotional well-being is a crucial part of healthy development and academic success. Therefore, in order to help students reach their full potential, schools and communities must play a role in providing wrap-around supports (which can include nutritional aid, out-of-school-time programming and mental wellness counseling). These supports can benefit the child as well as their families, who serve as the first and most important teachers in a child’s life. When implemented in the classroom, effective mental wellness supports can coach teachers to support and connect with students.

The Bainum Family Foundation is committed to better understanding these challenges and opportunities as part of our knowledge building efforts. Going forward, we plan to partner with invited service providers to increase the availability of high-quality wrap-around supports for elementary school students in the District of Columbia’s Wards 7 and 8. Learn more about our commitment to the whole child here.