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Safe spaces that encourage students to speak up, open their hearts, & leave their fears behind. They need to be able to share and feel safe!

Photo of Veronica Garcia
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Written by

I am a.....

  • Teacher

Tell us about your idea

Safe spaces that build trust, and students feel like they belong! We need to give them the chance to understand what they're feeling and be able to feel good again. These are tough times and we need to change the system of "having yourself together" all the time. I want to create more safe spaces that encourage them to open their hearts and speak truth without having any type of fear about what others will say. They need to feel they that we're here for them and create that sense of "safe space" (which is what a community is supposed to be) again.

What part(s) of the pre-COVID school system do you wish to leave in the past? Why?

Rigid and structured curriculums in which students had to adapt to it, instead of the other way around.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and what inspired you to share this idea.

I am a 3rd grade teacher. I've always created a safe space inside my classroom for them to share, speak up, and leave their fears behind. We talk about topics like: empathy, vulnerability, equal rights, self love, and many more. Now, I want to create more spaces, to be able to help more students have this opportunity. That's why I've created some virtual groups to talk about these topics!

What region are you located in?

  • Latin America and the Caribbean

Where are you located?

Panama, Panama.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Rachel Siegel

The title of your submission jumped right out at me, Veronica Garcia - thank you so much for posting! I'm a school counselor and the concept of safe spaces is near and dear to my heart. We so appreciate all that you're doing to create that for your third graders during this time. I would love to hear more about the virtual groups you have conducted thus far - are these with students, families, other educators? I also wonder how you have created opportunities for all students to share the voices in different ways?

Your idea made me think about creating safe virtual spaces through a small group or cohort model. This idea, PERKs (Parents advancing Equity through Resources and Kinship) by Laura Wilson Phelan , showcases a parent-focused cohort model. Could be an interesting way to think about how to do this with students as well! Best of luck...and thank you, again, for keeping your students social-emotional needs at the forefront of your work!

Photo of Veronica Garcia

Hello Rachel,

Thanks for reaching out!! I'm so glad to hear that there are more people out there who are also looking for ways to help their kids emotionally and create spaces in which they feel comfortable and safe to share what is dear to their hearts and sometimes difficult to talk about.

I'm doing virtual groups with the students only. It's a safe space for them to feel that they have their own space, "outside" of home. Every week we have a different topic. I begin the conversation with a question that triggers the idea that I want us to move forward to during the meeting. Sometimes we read a book, an article, a passage, or just share our ideas out loud and empower each other to BE OURSELVES, stay true to our feelings, our cultures, our passions, and everything that we like, do and are grateful for.

It's pretty much an hour a week in which we can leave our fears behind, speak truth and let ourselves be vulnerable. We know it's a safe space and we know we won't be judged so we let ourselves be our truest selves!!

Thanks again for reaching out Rachel!!

Let me know if you have any other questions or any ideas in mind :)


Vero García.