Education Highlight

Grief and Loss: School Community Support

In Arkansas, one in eleven children will experience the death of a close family member before the age of eighteen. Additionally, there are many types of school and community crises that could occur involving the death of a student or staff member. It is important to be prepared to provide support for students and staff through the pain and grief of such losses. Inspired by the 2007 publication,When Death Impacts Your School: A Guide for School Administrators by the Dougy Center: The National Grief Center for Children and Families and featuring a segment highlighting key points from the book’s chapter, “The Six Principles of Grief,” ArkansasIDEAS brings youGrief and Loss: School Community Support.This is the second episode in a two-part podcast series that explores how to distinguish between grief and mourning, the factors that influence grief responses, and how to identify and support grieving students and staff members.

This course features a podcast-style production hosted by Christina Muñoz. Experts interviewed include Greg Adams, Program Coordinator for Arkansas Children’s Hospital’s Center for Good Mourning; Dr. Sufna John, Licensed Psychologist and Associate Professor of the Department of Psychiatry at UAMS; Andrea Fortner, Guidance and Counseling Coordinator for the Division of Elementary and Secondary Education; and Rodney Ford, Program Advisor for the Guidance and Counseling Office at the Division of Elementary and Secondary Education. Course takers may choose to experience the podcast via video or audio-only options.

NOTE: The content of this course overtly deals with potentially distressing topics, including death and human loss, illness, violence, and trauma.

Course Highlight

TLC22002 - Closing the Empathy Gap

Closing the Empathy Gap brings to the forefront the vision of Susanna Post, 2021 Arkansas Teacher of the Year. Through her experience of teaching in alternative learning classrooms, she realized something important was missing. She began to understand that her students' life experiences were very different from her own, and she was unable to empathize to some degree. She began to suspect this was happening in every classroom across the country. Mrs. Post understood that these gaps were unintentional and built a platform on the desire to close those empathy gaps.

Arkansas has the highest rate of traumatic adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) in the country, so it made sense to start here in Arkansas. Through this course, you will follow her journey, learn about the brain science behind her claims, listen as other Arkansas Teachers of the Year and one Missouri Teacher of the Year discuss how empathy impacts their own classrooms, and watch one student's journey as he learns that empathy also comes with high expectations.

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About Us

What is ArkansasIDEAS?
ArkansasIDEAS (Internet Delivered Education for Arkansas Schools) is a partnership between Arkansas PBS and the Arkansas Department of Education, Division of Elementary and Secondary Education, to provide online, statewide professional development resources and courses for K-12 Arkansas educators.

What is our purpose?
The purpose of ArkansasIDEAS is to improve teacher quality as a means to increase student achievement. Every project pursued by our team is designed to impact student learning through educator training.

Who can have access?
ArkansasIDEAS provides all Arkansas licensed educators access and additional support for paraprofessionals, pre-licensed and support staff is available for specific content through an approval process.

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