Educators and parents share a responsibility in relation to building mental health and substance use literacy in our children.
Professional learning K-12 was a preliminary scoping project to ascertain how BC Partners might support professional learning among K-12 educators in a way that would complement the work of parents. The impact of this project will be seen in future collaborations between BC Partners and BC schools.
We learned that we’re all in this together
Our research showed that parents and educators share significant common ground. This was contrary to stories and anecdotes that often imply that teachers and parents have competing interests.
Both parents and educators:
- Agree that the current situation is not ideal, and that educators need more knowledge and skills to meet students’ MHSU needs
- Express the need for access to tools and resources – both for students and for educators to develop professional knowledge and skills
- Acknowledge the need to support teachers’ wellbeing, and realize that healthy teachers can better meet the needs of students with MHSU challenges
- Said they felt “left out,” or didn’t have the information they needed
- Are concerned about developing a supportive classroom environment
- Teachers also emphasize that tools and resources must be both practical and relevant to real classrooms
- One parent suggested that we need to create clear systems for families and teachers to share resources and information.
We agreed that we better understand the situation
Project team members agreed that the data collected will help BC Partners understand the perceived professional learning needs of K-12 educators and will guide our future collective and agency involvement with schools.