Julia Brown, a teacher in Texas, US, started using this method a few weeks ago in her classroom. She covered a shoebox in paper and made a slot to put things in. She set out notecards and pencils next to it.
She told her pupils if they need something they aren’t comfortable voicing out loud, they can write it on the notecard with their name and put it in the box and she will get back to them before the week is done.
“The first week, two boys let me know about a bullying situation,” the teacher wrote on Love What Matters. “We got it taken care of. 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.”
Julia said needs submitted have included help on lessons, school supplies, help with friendship issues, help in another class, needing a hug, wanted to talk about a situation at home, changing seats, and help with bullying.
“I just want to let my students know I’m there to help them with anything they need,” she said. “What’s even better is students are starting to come to me directly with issues/challenges they are having bypassing the box completely.”
Julia has been teaching for 15 years and said this is the best thing she’s ever done to reach her kids and get them to open up this early on in the school year. She told HuffPost UK she will get about two to three cards every day that have needs on them.
Although this was used in a classroom format, it might be an idea parents could use at home to encourage their kids to open up about how they’re feeling.