As I logged into my friend Sam’s virtual AP World History class over Zoom, I was transfixed. I’ve known Sam for years but suddenly he transformed into Mr. Routhier. Mr. Routhier delivered a lecture, called on a student, presented a quiz, gave an assignment, troubleshooted technical issues, reflected on the class’s answers, re-engaged another student, lectured some more….I looked at my watch. It had been 6 minutes. My jaw dropped. But Mr. Routhier, along with every other person I know who has ever spent time in a classroom, is never just teaching. Mr. Grossmann is adapting homework to accommodate a student’s demands at home. Mrs. Weiser is helping other teachers learn how to teach virtually. And Mr. Perkins is checking in on students who used to spend their lunch hour in his classroom when they needed a safe space to decompress. Teachers haven’t just figured out how to teach this year, they’ve adapted every aspect of their job including how they show up for their students’ mental health.
That is why I am so proud to share that Born This Way Foundation is partnering with DonorsChoose to double each dollar going to classroom projects that connect students with mental health support.
Students have faced countless challenges this year in the midst of ongoing and overlapping crises. We have the opportunity to give to teachers who are creating spaces for young people to start the conversation about mental health and seek resources to support their wellness.
Let’s meet this young, hopeful, energized generation where they are and give their teachers the tools and resources to be there for their students’ mental health.