Next to their parents, teachers are often a child’s next line of defense against problems and challenges they’re facing. However, it’s not always easy for a kid to directly open up to an adult about exactly what’s going wrong or what their specific needs are.
That’s why school teacher, Julia Brown, decided to come up with an innovative solution that would allow students to express their needs to her without having to talk to her personally.
The creative educator invented what she calls an “I need” box for her students to place any need or issue they may have in a way that is more comfortable for them.
Since starting the box a few weeks ago, Julia has received notes like the following, according to her story submission to Love What Matters:
“I need help on a lesson we’ve already completed.”
“I need school supplies.”
“I need help with a friend issue.”
“I need help in another class.”
“I need a hug cause I’m sad.”
“I need to talk to someone about a situation at home.”
“I need to change seats.”
“I need help with a bully.”
The “I need” box has since helped her connect and serve her students in ways she never thought possible. Several weeks after she started using it, the teacher of 15 years decided to share an update on how it was going in a Facebook post that has since gone viral:
“A few weeks ago I posted about the ‘I need’ box I was starting in my class. I wanted to give everyone an update.
If you recall, it was a way for my students to ask for help without having to come directly to me. They would write it on a card and leave it in the box.
The first week, two boys let me know about a bullying situation. We got it taken care of.
The next week I changed the format a little and starting having EVERY student put a card in the box every day. They didn’t have to write on it, but every student visits the box daily.
Since then, I’ve had a plethora of ‘needs’ submitted. They range from specific supply needs, seat changes, special handshakes when entering class, after school help, bullying situations, and even daily hugs.
What’s even better is students are starting to come to me directly with issues/challenges they are having bypassing the box completely.
I’ve been teaching middle school for 15 years, and I can honestly say this is the best thing I’ve ever done to reach my kids this early in the school year.
Thank you to everyone who liked, commented on, and shared that original post. I hope many other teachers find it as successful as I have.”
Since sharing her brilliant idea, Julia’s post has been shared over 115,000 times by people who are totally inspired by her dedication to her students’ needs in every area of life.
Kudos to this amazing woman for going above and beyond to make her students feel safe and supported at school through this simple act of kindness. See more from Julia on her Facebook page.