Pub. Date:
Brookes Publishing
Grieving Student: A Teacher's Guide / Edition 1

Grieving Student: A Teacher's Guide / Edition 1

by David Schonfeld, Marcia Quackenbush


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Death and grief will affect the lives of almost all children at some point, often leading to struggles with academic performance, social relationships, and behavior. Teachers can be a critical lifeline for a grieving child—and now they have a practical guidebook to help them provide sensitive support to students of all ages.

Author David Schonfeld is the national go-to expert on childhood bereavement and school crisis —a veteran consultant to school crisis teams, he has trained thousands of professionals in the wake of events such as 9-11 and Hurricane Katrina. Partnering with family therapist Marcia Quackenbush, he guides teachers through a child's experience of grief and loss, illuminates the classroom issues that grieving may trigger, and empowers teachers to undertake the rewarding job of reaching and helping their students. Educators will get the real-world tips, strategies, and insights they need to

  • explain the major concepts of death in age-appropriate ways
  • respond constructively to children's common feelings and behaviors after a death
  • initiate and maintain positive, helpful communication
  • learn what to say and what not to say when a child or family is grieving
  • use simple commemorative activities at school to help students cope with their feelings
  • address children's responses to different causes of death, including suicide, illness, and violence
  • help a child who is "stuck" in a difficult phase of grief
  • provide ongoing assistance when triggers of grief renew a child's sense of loss
  • notify and support students after a death that affects the whole school community

Throughout the book, powerful vignettes and examples give teachers a vivid inside look at what their students may be feeling and how an educator's words and actions can make a difference. And because teachers may struggle with their own emotions as they help their students, the book shows them how to manage a wide range of feelings, from discomfort with discussing death to personal identification with the child's loss.

With this how-to guide to one of the most delicate issues an educator will encounter, teachers will give students the support they need to cope with grief and work their way back to full participation in academic and social life.

Watch a webinar to get an inside look?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781598571165
Publisher: Brookes Publishing
Publication date: 10/01/2010
Pages: 208
Sales rank: 640,713
Product dimensions: 8.90(w) x 5.90(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

David J. Schonfeld, M.D., Director, National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement (NCSCB) and Director, Division of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, has provided consultation, technical assistance, and training in the areas of pediatric bereavement and school crisis preparedness and response for more than 20 years. He has provided presentations at national and international meetings and worked with communities throughout the United States and abroad (including Europe, Great Britain, Asia, the Middle East, Scandinavia, Latin America, and Africa). In 1991, Dr. Schonfeld established the School Crisis Response Program at Yale University School of Medicine, where he provided training to tens of thousands of school-based personnel throughout the country and technical assistance in hundreds of school crisis events. Dr. Schonfeld has consulted with schools during the aftermath of numerous school (including school shootings and other school violence) and national crisis events. From 2001 to 2004, he consulted to the New York City Department of Education and coordinated training for school crisis teams in the wake of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and provided training to more than 1,000 district- and school-level crisis teams within the system. In 2005, Dr. Schonfeld was awarded funding by the September 11th Children’s Fund and the National Philanthropic Trust to establish the NCSCB. Dr. Schonfeld has worked with schools coping with large-scale natural disasters, such as Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans in 2005; Hurricane Ike in Galveston, Texas, in 2008; and the 2008 earthquake in Sichuan, China. Dr. Schonfeld is currently a member of the National Commission on Children and Disasters, the Disaster Mental Health Subcommittee of the National Biodefense Science Board, and the American Academy of Pediatrics’s Disaster Preparedness Advisory Council. He is actively engaged in school-based research involving children’s understanding of and adjustment to serious illness and death and school-based interventions to promote adjustment and risk prevention.

Marcia Quackenbush, M.S., MFT, CHES, Senior Editor and Health Education Specialist, ETR Associates, Scotts Valley, California, is a licensed family therapist and certified health education specialist. She has more than 15 years of clinical mental health experience, much of which is focused on children, adolescents, and families of people living with life-changing condition; or people coping with terminal illness in themselves or family members. Ms. Quackenbush has written extensively in the health education field, publishing numerous articles and books on a range of topics.

Table of Contents

About the Authors viii

Foreword MaryEllen Salamone x

Preface xii

Acknowledgments xvi

Introduction: Yes, This Matters xvii

1 Why Schools and Teachers? Isn't This Someone Else's Job? 1

2 How Children Understand Death 7

3 When a Death Occurs in a Child's Life 17

4 Support for Grieving Children: What to Do 31

5 Communication: Ways to Make Contact and Keep It Going 45

6 Working with Families 55

7 Special Concerns for Bereaved Children 65

8 Providing Support over Time 83

9 When an Entire School Is Affected 97

10 Seriously Ill Students: When Death Is a Concern 111

11 Memorialization and Commemoration 125

12 Taking Care of Yourself 139

Afterword: Support for the Present and the Future 149

References 153

Study Guide 155

Index 179

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