This article is part of a series highlighting the presentations given at the 2021 eLumaNation Summit, held virtually September 30 – October 1, 2021.
CEO and Founder of eLuma LLC, Jeremy Glauser closed out eLumaNation this year. Jeremy has a Bachelor of Arts in both Linguistics and Business Management from Brigham Young University. He has wanted to make a positive impact in the world since a young age. With his business entrepreneurial spirit, he founded eLuma to provide relief for those who struggle with speech and communication disorders. To date, eLuma has provided over 400,000 hours of therapy services to over 21,000 individuals and K12 schools and districts all over the United States.
Jeremy Glauser taught us about some challenges we face in education today. He helped us understand the state of mental health in our students and what we can learn and embrace from this crisis.
Here are a few key takeaways:
1- Opportunities we face in Special Education Today
2- State of Mental Health
3- Lessons in crisis
4- How to embrace hybrid work
Special Education has grown and changed dramatically, especially with the introduction of COVID-19. This provides new opportunities for us to improve the system and help more students each day. Currently, the largest challenges are funding, the growing number of SPED identifications, inadequate teacher preparation and training, litigation, and COVID – remote learning. Several things are happening right now to try and combat those challenges but they are still very prevalent.
Mental Health issues have been growing steadily over the last decade but exponentially over the last 2 years. There has been an increase in counseling referrals of 403% in the state of Utah. We are seeing funding around mental health as the need and acceptance grows to help combat this. Talk about it, help normalize it, and help get it into schools. If you have questions about accessing funding we do offer grant writing support so those students can get what they need.
A crisis is, “an event that has overwhelmed all coping strategies.” – David Adams. We have all experienced a crisis before and if you think about it you can find a paradox of trauma and redemption. If we focus on the pandemic we can focus on words that follow the trauma path (suffering, mental health struggles, learning loss, etc.) or we can focus on the redemption path (open-mindedness, unification, togetherness, etc.) The way we choose to think about something can help the way we feel about the crisis we are in. The important thing to remember is that we are all in this together. Everyone has been dealing with similar situations and challenges. Sharing what we are learning and helping others adjust is the best way to help our schools and students right now.
As hybrid models continue to grow across the country and world we need to continue adjusting our practices to make them permanent. There are labor shortages all over the country. Being able to offer a hybrid model for your employees or students can help fill these positions. We also have educators coming out of college underprepared. We need to help train them and get them coached to where they need to be to the best of our capabilities. Retaining educators is another battle. Helping the hybrid culture at your school and putting your relationships with them first will help them stay. It is hard for everyone right now and the best form of retention is when they feel valued. Welcome the future of hybrid work and make it the best it can be.
Our students are struggling socially, academically, and emotionally while trying to make the best of the world’s current state. They are extraordinary and we need to support them the best we can. They are our hope for the future. As Jeremy said, “I have hope because humans are resilient.”