VIDEO: Teacher Accidentally Creates Something Genius

Photo by CDC on Unsplash

( – Erin Castillo, a teacher at John F. Kennedy High School in Fremont, California, has come up with a smart way of encouraging her students to share their feelings in a safe space. The mental health check-in chart used by Castillo is now being copied and used by a number of teachers across the world.

During an interview with “Good Morning America,” she said that she did not expect to see that others would follow her lead and create a mental health check-in chart similar to her own after she had posted it on her Instagram page. Since originally posting it though, she has received messages and heard multiple stories of how the chart has been used to help children across the world.

The check-in chart in Castillo’s class works in a simple way. Students get to use a post-it note to add their name next to the statement on the chart that best describes how they are feeling. She added that with the names being added to the back of the post-it, there is trust in the classroom that no one would try to read the other’s post-it notes.

The chart has the following options: “I’m great”, “I’m okay,” “I’m meh,” “I’m struggling,” “I’m having a hard time and wouldn’t mind a check in,” or “I’m in a really dark place.”
If a name is added to the two latter statements, then Castillo checks in with the student and arranges for a session with the counselor or school psychologist.


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