Health & Spirit

Kindergarten teacher's request for mental health books goes viral

Jerry Davich, Chicago Tribune on

Published in Health & Fitness

"Think about it."

Tina DuBrock repeatedly yet gently tells this to her kindergartner students at Protsman Elementary School in Dyer.

"This is brand new to you, but you'll learn it quickly if you think about it," DuBrock told them again one Wednesday morning when I visited her classroom.

Her class of 18 kids, some with special needs, were each given a number from 1 to 10. Their task was to find a partner whose number added up to 10 along with their number. Some kids figured it out immediately. Others not so quickly.

DuBrock, who has been teaching for 15 years, was patient as she watched.

"This classroom is my calling. I love what I do," she told me in between lessons.

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Each day, she teaches the building blocks of learning, and how to interact peacefully with others, to our youngest generation of residents. It's not easy work. It's not as simple as it seems. And it has caused her to lose sleep on many occasions, especially lately.

"My newsfeed is full of school shootings, school safety plans, gun control debates, and arming teachers," she recently wrote on her Facebook page. "What bothers me most is parents blaming schools/teachers and teachers blaming parents."

Blaming is not allowed in her classroom. It's poisonous for young, impressionable minds. She teaches tots how to give a "double thumbs-up," not how to point a finger. She would like to see adults follow their lead.

"We have enough negative these days," she said.


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