‘I’m keeping an extra eye on them’ – Teacher’s ‘handle with care’ system for students goes national

Teachers already have hero status for going above and beyond the call of duty when teaching our kids but throughout the pandemic they have also had to come up with new ways of keeping their students engaged and educated during unprecedented times.

Now most children have returned to the classroom teachers are facing new challenges with children often struggling to cope with so much change.

One Kansas teacher noticed some children coming into her classroom with a lot on their mind, maybe it was a tough morning, maybe they didn’t get enough sleep, maybe something was going on at home and while they didn’t want to talk about it, they just needed a little grace.

Fourth grade teacher Rachel Harder, who teaches in Hutchinson, came up with a wonderful way for parents to let her know if their kids needed a little grace on certain days and her idea has gone viral.

Inspired by a trauma conference she attended a few years ago where police said they had partnered with schools to let them know if they’d had an encounter with a student to handle that student with care the next day, she decided to use the same idea in her classroom.

Rachel said the following year she had a student with autism and decided to introduce the ‘handle with care’ idea to her parents.

“I knew that when she would text me that her daughter needed some extra time and a quiet location, not the gym for morning announcements, so that the rest of her day went smoothly,” Rachel said, as per Fox News. 

Smart School House

“It’s important for me to give kids a few minutes of extra time or space. Give them a bit of time and the rest of our day tends to go a bit smoother,” she added.

This simple method was such a success that Rachel decided to send all of her students home with a note for their parents explaining the “Handle with Care” system.

Word soon spread about Rachel’s simple yet very effective system and teachers across the country started to introduce it. Printouts can be found on the Smart School House website.

“The [parents] just let me know it was a hard morning,” Rachel said. “I don’t need to know details but parents like that — they know I’m keeping an extra eye on them.”

I love this idea; it not only helps to keep students’ struggles private with only the teacher knowing but warns the teacher to give a child some grace when it’s really needed. We could all do with this system in our lives.

Please share if you too love this idea and think it should exist in all schools.