This piece explores the trials and victories of a teacher's literary therapy for Will* a student faced with the ravages of mental health struggles and instability in his home life. The purpose here is to divulge the vulnerabilities of a personal story in the hopes of generating support for other educators who might be battling similar conflicts. Along the way, as varying children's books like My Happy Sad Mummy, by Michelle Vasiliu, and The Colour Monster by Anna Llenas, play integral parts in emotional healing, the teacher confronts her own internal unrests as Will's obstacles inch too close to home. Exploring Will's circumstances unravels her safe disassociation and teaches her valuable lessons about vulnerability and being real. Making peace with many unanswered questions becomes the best way to cope, and helping Will find wellness, leads closer to finding her own.

Author Biography

Carolina Soto Bonds

Carolina Soto Bonds is a Bronx native, Bank Street alumna, a writer, NYS certified teacher and educational consultant in early childhood education. Bonds is a strong believer in developmentally appropriate and culturally responsive practice as well as honoring students’ funds of knowledge as a cornerstone of effective teaching. Her personal experiences in teaching are published in over 30 articles penned for Bank Street’s graduate admissions blog between 2016 and 2018. Bonds carries a ubiquitous awareness and appreciation of others’ lenses, perspectives, and cultures— she celebrates her own by utilizing her Dominicanness and roots in education as catalysts for change. She shares her love of travel, food, and all things Caribbean/Afro-Latin, with anyone who will listen. Bonds resides in New York City where she continues to work for the communities that saw her grow up.



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