School building.

Matthew Kennard May 26, 2022

Where Do We Go From Here?

Matthew Kennard

BetterLesson Chief Executive Officer

Over the past two weeks, we have been confronted by the terrible devastation of the senseless acts of violence in Uvalde and Buffalo. In our nation there have been over 200 mass shootings in 2022, including 27 incidents at schools. Tragedies like these, and so many before them, are unconscionable and brutally unsettling. The loss of family, friends, and colleagues has an indelible impact and it is natural to feel helpless and unmoored. Taking the time to process our pain is an important step in recovering and supporting those in our communities who are forever impacted by these tragedies.

As we look ahead, there is a clear need for many hard conversations to be had at a national, state, and local level. We have to discuss the importance of access to mental health resources, sensible approaches to regulating access to firearms, and a need to confront the societal inequities which have contributed to creating an environment where these acts continue to happen at an appalling and unacceptable rate.

At BetterLesson, we stand in unity with Uvalde, Buffalo, and all other communities that have been impacted by similar tragedies. Our company was founded by two former educators and our team is made up of a dedicated group of former classroom teachers, leaders, and administrators. We have all been struck by the painful and overwhelming sense of loss that we know our colleagues and partners are facing as they head back to school.

We firmly believe that supporting all educators in helping their students confront the horrific nature of these acts is a critical step in catalyzing growth and change, and we are here for that work. Classrooms remain a seminal force in creating an open environment for genuine discourse and processing, especially today. A few strategies that can support these conversations include Restorative CirclesActive ListeningEmotion Check-ins, and De-Escalation: Intervening with Emotionally Escalated Students.

We will continue to do our part to support meaningful and inclusive instruction and stand ready to be fierce advocates for educators as they take on the incredible task of guiding their students through these trying times.