Physical education, nutrition, substance abuse prevention, growth and development

Teachers and schools not only develop strategies to meet the learning and educational needs of students, but they also must be aware of how they can possibly meet various other needs a student will bring with them to their classrooms, such as Academic needs, Psychological needs, and Physical needs.
Academic Needs: Learning subject/content area, critical thinking skills, problem solving skills, practical/hands on application of learning, developing study skills, creative approaches to learning, developing a “love for learning.”
Psychological Needs: Self-esteem, character building, experiencing success, acceptance/belonging, self-awareness, mental health aspects, special needs education, trauma responsiveness, team building, building trust, personal values.
Physical Needs: Physical education, nutrition, substance abuse prevention, growth and development, health, safety and security.
As we begin to explore the various needs of students, please review the following Case Study and think of specific ways the school, you as a teacher, parents/caregivers, community groups, and other individuals and entities can work together to strategically meet student needs in these 3 areas.
NOTE: Case Study is based on an actual student/school experience. Names have been changed to protect anonymity.
Jack”* is a 14-year-old 7th grader at Taylor Middle School* in a large suburban school district. He lives with his mother, a single parent, and 2 younger siblings, a brother who is in 3rd grade and a sister who is in preschool. He has very little contact with his biological father and has up until recently had a stepfather, whom his mother divorced last year due to an abusive situation. There was also some suspicion that Jack’s stepfather may have sexually abused Jack, but he has not spoken of this to his mother or to school personnel. His mother works at a convenience store and on most days, Jack is responsible for taking care of his siblings until his mother comes home, sometimes after 9 pm. His mother has a police record, due to substance abuse, but is involved in a program to overcome her addictions.
Jack’s mother is being monitored by the Department of Human Services and tries to keep the fact that she is working excessive hours from her caseworker. When Jack is home taking care of his siblings, his mother makes sure they stay in the house until she arrives home, so Jack is responsible for doing his own homework and making sure his siblings are fed and the children are not allowed to go outside. He then spends the remainder of the time watching television or playing video games with his younger brother. Jack shows great agility in playing video games but does not have access to a computer at home.
Jack was retained in 2nd grade because of his weak academic record tied to his poor attendance record. His parents moved 3 times that particular school year and he was in 3 different schools. Most days, he comes to school without breakfast and is on the school’s free lunch program. On most evenings, he and his siblings will eat sandwiches or frozen pizza.
Jack reads on a 4th-grade level and has struggled with hyperactivity and lack of attention span. He also has difficulty relating to other students in the class and when involved with a group or cooperative learning, he often becomes frustrated and impatient with the other students and will clam up and not participate. He uses his fingers frequently for math computation but tries to hide this fact from his math teacher. He has trouble with verbal communication and often gives up when he cannot make himself understood. Jack is extremely well-behaved when he is one on one with his teachers, but will sometimes act out in the presence of other students during class. He loves his homeroom teacher, Mrs. Smith, and often wants to stay in at recess or after school to help her with cleaning the classroom or other tasks. Whenever his teacher forces him to go outside for recess, he is rarely picked for inclusion in games, such as baseball or soccer. He also has some difficulty with hygiene and has been observed wearing the same clothes for several days at a time.
Jack has bragged to other students occasionally that he has experimented with tobacco use and that he has on one occasion consumed alcohol, but has never come to school with evidence of this. He has also indicated to other students his desire to run away from home at least a couple of times this year. School personnel has had no success in having Jack’s mother come to any school conferences or open houses, and have had numerous phone calls not returned, so they have basically gone without contacting or communicating with her for several months. Jack has indicated that there is a possibility that he will be moving again sometime next month, which will be 3 weeks before the end of the school year. Jack often cries when he talks about leaving his present school and Mrs. Smith.
Upon completion of this assignment, you should be able to:
Examine the various needs of students in a school/classroom setting and how teachers can partner with others to develop strategies to meet those needs.
Referencing information presented in the Case Study above, discuss specific ways in which the school community (school, teachers, parents/ caregivers, community groups, etc.) could meet this student’s (Jack) needs.
Provide a 2-page response for each of the three areas below. Within each area, be sure to cite the specific area of need when suggesting strategies to meet that need.):
Academic Needs
Psychological Needs
Physical Needs

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