suicide on campus and the pressure of perfection

It’s a difficult thought to consider the number given of undergraduate suicides happening on campus every year being so large. This article was written a couple of years ago and the approximate number was 1,100. I really appreciate this traveling installation Active Minds sets up with the symbolic backpacks. In my practice as a teacher I love to keep students open to the idea of total fantastic success with their art pieces while simultaneously being aware that disasters do happen. Sometimes, I feel like an over-zealous side line coach saying go for it! Don’t worry if you crash…we’ll just make a new one or work out that happy accident! Bless you, Bob Ross, for being such a gentle guide. When the students are able to ease up and approach it with the idea that failure does happen and that we can start again or just work with what transpires, most of them do make something out of those ‘happy accidents’. There definitely are some kids that are not soothed by this adventure into learning approach. Some look as if their insides are twisting at the thought of it. How do we help those kids know its okay to fail if they’re programmed to believe otherwise? I feel that if we are trying to avoid so many students feeling a sense of isolation or shame we should be providing a more bountiful amount of camaraderie in the classroom. Maybe have more chances for project based learning that isn’t geared toward grades.

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