This teacher's viral 'check-in' board is a beautiful example of mental health support

Update: We have found the teacher who created the mental health check-in board! Kudos to Erin Castillo for the brilliant idea and for sharing how she's using it to help kids. She is offering a free download of the board as a poster along with instructions for utilizing it on Teachers Pay Teachers. Thanks, Erin!

This teacher is making a difference in her students' lives, one simple Post-it Note at a time.

Excellent teachers do so much more than teach. They can be mentors, role models, guides, and even confidants. Sometimes a teacher is one of the only trusted adults in a child's life—a fact that drives home the immense responsibility educators hold in their hands.


Perhaps that's why a photo shared by Facebook user Tara Mitchell Holman has touched so many people. It shows a teacher's whiteboard with "Monday Check-in" written on top and sections underneath labeled, "I'm great," "I'm okay," "I'm meh," "I'm struggling," "I'm having a tough time & wouldn't mind a check-in," and "I'm not doing great."

Wow. This teacher has her students write their name on back of a sticky note and place it on the chart each Monday. She...
Posted by Tara Mitchell Holman on Thursday, March 21, 2019

"Wow," wrote Holman in the caption. "This teacher has her students write their name on back of a sticky note and place it on the chart each Monday. She then talks privately throughout the week with each child about where they placed the sticky note and if they need to talk. A weekly check in on her students. ❤️❤️ Maybe we could pass this along to teachers."

The photo has been shared more than 135,000 times.

This kind of "check-in" is a beautiful example of supporting students' mental health.

Childhood can be hard. Being a teen can be even harder. That's nothing new, but studies have shown that mental health issues among young people are on the rise. Some of that may be due to the pressures of social media or the ubiquitous 24/7 news that stresses all of us. It could also simply be that we are getting better at understanding and diagnosing mental illnesses like anxiety and depression.

Whatever the reason, kids and teens can use all the mental and emotional support we can give them. Since young people spend the majority of their waking hours in school, teachers are in a prime position to offer that kind of support.

But figuring how to do that most effectively can be a challenge. Most teachers are already tapped out from their actual teaching work, and it's a lot to expect them to act as counselors on top of that. At the same time, people who work with students understand that so many issues can be remedied by staying in tune with their emotional well-being. This Post-it Note method of checking in with students is simple enough to help teachers determine which students might need some extra attention or help with their challenges outside the classroom.

This board is also a good reminder of how incredible teachers can be.

I started my professional life as a teacher and have known countless teachers in my lifetime. Few people I've encountered have been as dedicated and caring as the folks who educate kids, and their work always extends far outside of their classroom teaching hours. Teachers don't just impart knowledge; they are emotionally invested in their students and care about much more than just their academic performance.

I wasn't able to track down the identity of the teacher who made this check-in board, but perhaps the anonymity of it is fitting. So many teachers regularly go above-and-beyond the call of duty to care for their students, and this photo is a great reminder of how awesome educators find ways to help kids in every way they can.

Courtesy of Back on My Feet
True

Having graduated in the top 10% of Reserve Officer Training Corp (ROTC) cadets nationwide in 2012, Pat Robinson was ready to take on a career in the Air Force full speed ahead.

Despite her stellar performance in the classroom and training grounds, Robinson feared other habits she'd picked up at Ohio University had sent her down the wrong tracks.

First stationed near Panama City, Florida, Robinson became reliant on alcohol while serving as an air battle manager student. After barnstorming through Atlanta's nightclubs on New Year's Eve, Robinson failed a drug test and lied to her commanding officer about the results.

Eleven months later, she was dismissed. Feeling ashamed and directionless, Robinson briefly returned home to Cleveland before venturing west to look for work in San Francisco.

After a brief stint working at a paint store, Robinson found herself without a source of income and was relegated to living in her car. Robinson's garbage can soon became littered with parking tickets and her car was towed. Golden Gate Park's cool grass soon replaced her bed.

"My substance abuse spiraled very quickly," Robinson said. "You name it, I probably used it. Very quickly I contracted HIV and Hepatitis C. I was arrested again and again and was finally charged and sentenced to substance abuse treatment."

Keep Reading Show less
Courtesy of Back on My Feet
True

Having graduated in the top 10% of Reserve Officer Training Corp (ROTC) cadets nationwide in 2012, Pat Robinson was ready to take on a career in the Air Force full speed ahead.

Despite her stellar performance in the classroom and training grounds, Robinson feared other habits she'd picked up at Ohio University had sent her down the wrong tracks.

First stationed near Panama City, Florida, Robinson became reliant on alcohol while serving as an air battle manager student. After barnstorming through Atlanta's nightclubs on New Year's Eve, Robinson failed a drug test and lied to her commanding officer about the results.

Eleven months later, she was dismissed. Feeling ashamed and directionless, Robinson briefly returned home to Cleveland before venturing west to look for work in San Francisco.

After a brief stint working at a paint store, Robinson found herself without a source of income and was relegated to living in her car. Robinson's garbage can soon became littered with parking tickets and her car was towed. Golden Gate Park's cool grass soon replaced her bed.

"My substance abuse spiraled very quickly," Robinson said. "You name it, I probably used it. Very quickly I contracted HIV and Hepatitis C. I was arrested again and again and was finally charged and sentenced to substance abuse treatment."

Keep Reading Show less
True

In 1945, the world had just endured the bloodiest war in history. World leaders were determined to not repeat the mistakes of the past. They wanted to build a better future, one free from the "scourge of war" so they signed the UN Charter — creating a global organization of nations that could deter and repel aggressors, mediate conflicts and broker armistices, and ensure collective progress.

Over the following 75 years, the UN played an essential role in preventing, mitigating or resolving conflicts all over the world. It faced new challenges and new threats — including the spread of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, a Cold War and brutal civil wars, transnational terrorism and genocides. Today, the UN faces new tensions: shifting and more hostile geopolitics, digital weaponization, a global pandemic, and more.

This slideshow shows how the UN has worked to build peace and security around the world:

1 / 12

Malians wait in line at a free clinic run by the UN Multidimensional Integrated Mission in Mali in 2014. Over their 75 year history, UN peacekeepers have deployed around the world in military and nonmilitary roles as they work towards human security and peace. Here's a look back at their history.

Photo credit: UN Photo/Marco Dormino

It sounds like a ridiculous, sensationalist headline, but it's real. In Cheshire County, New Hampshire, a transsexual, anarchist Satanist has won the GOP nomination for county sheriff. Aria DiMezzo, who refers to herself as a "She-Male" and whose campaign motto was "F*** the Police," ran as a Republican in the primary. Though she ran unopposed on the ballot, according to Fox News, she anticipated that she would lose to a write-in candidate. Instead, 4,211 voters filled in the bubble next to her name, making her the official Republican candidate for county sheriff.

DiMezzo is clear about why she ran—to show how "clueless the average voter is" and to prove that "the system is utterly and hopelessly broken"—stances that her win only serves to reinforce.

In a blog post published on Friday, DiMezzo explained how she had never tried to hide who she was and that anyone could have looked her up to see what she was about, in addition to pointing out that those who are angry with her have no one to blame but themselves:

Keep Reading Show less

Maybe before the events of 2020, you were taking your toilet paper for granted. But chances are, you aren't anymore. But aside from the shortages earlier in the year, there are larger problems with traditional TP. Specifically, it's pretty bad for the environment. That said, thanks to a company called Reel, it doesn't have to be. That's because their toilet paper is made from bamboo stalks and designed with environmental sustainability in mind.

If you've had any experience with environmentally friendly toilet paper in the past, you might be tempted to stop reading. But contrary to the prevailing stereotypes about eco-conscious TP, Reel is renowned for its quality and comfort -- so much so that the brand has sold more than a million rolls of the stuff and counting. And it's done so without contributing to the monstrous devastation of forests that's associated with the traditional toilet paper industry.


Keep Reading Show less