On Friday, January 28th, 2024, I stepped into a middle school classroom in Orlando as a substitute teacher. What awaited me was more than the expected average 120 students for the day, but 221 students. No lesson plans. No structured activities. Just a sea of students 6th through 8th grade, some distracted by their devices, others stirring up commotion.
Being a substitute teacher is no easy feat. But walking into a classroom devoid of lesson plans? That's a whole new level of challenge. As I navigated through the day's chaos, it reminded me: there has to be a better use of the students' time.
That is why Brighter Times is developing a resilience education library for educators, substitutes, and youth centered organizations. It will be a resource that stands alone, independent of a trained professional's presence. A toolkit that anyone can utilize with ease, as easy as pressing play, with the opportunity for additional group and individual activities.
This resilience education library isn't just a Band-Aid for days without curriculum. It's a comprehensive solution to the mental health epidemic- tailored to various school structures, designed in easily digestible segments. From high school to elementary school classrooms, the end goal is to cover all bases, ensuring that every student receives the support they need to thrive.
At its core, this initiative champions an empowerment-based model. It meets students where they are, acknowledging their diverse experiences and challenges. Through resilience education, we aim to equip them with the skills to overcome adversity, both inside and outside the classroom.
I am enthusiastic about bringing this initiative to fruition for students who may need a reminder of their inherent strengths along their life journey. This endeavor aims to reaffirm a child's belief in themselves and their potential for future success.
As every child deserves to not just survive but the opportunity to thrive.