Social-Emotional Learning

As the new school year kicks off, students arrive to newly decorated classrooms and (mostly) refreshed and reenergized educators approaching yet another new year armed with new ideas and the optimism only a new school year can bring! “It’s going to be a great year, our best year yet!” we all whisper to ourselves believing that the lessons learned from past classes paired with the information we gained from books and seminars over the summer will be the true difference makers we hope they’ll be! And we’re right on many levels. Things will be different, better, and more student-focused. However, each year, like a mother forgets the pain of childbirth, we, teachers and school staff, forget the physical and mental fatigue that inevitably comes with doing this job well. Alas, it is my suggestion that part of our strategic plan this year from school boards and superintendents to building administrators, teachers, and paraprofessionals includes a preventative plan to ensure we care for ourselves, for one another, and strive to protect school staff’s mental health and prevent burnout. In this post, we will walk through how education has changed, why support is needed, and how both administrators and educators can help.

Data

Data is important, and it is everywhere. Teachers collect all sorts of information about students. These data can inform and influence teachers how to teach, what to review, and what to adjust. Yet, some teachers may still not be aware of how to get data and how to use it. In this article, we will answer these questions: Where can you find data? And why is it important to use data in your classroom?

Social-Emotional Learning

As adults, we have learned how to deal with emotions and feelings in a rational way. This is something that is learned. When it comes to children, they may not yet know how to deal with stressful situations. Stress may be caused by their background and home situations which can include domestic violence, poverty, abuse, drug use, alcoholism, and other challenges. It may also be triggered by situations at school which overwhelm them or cause intense emotions. Children such as these need to learn how to self-regulate themselves, and this is where a comfort room comes into play. How to create a comfort room in schools is a much debated topic, but we will focus on some of the aspects to look at in creating one.

Social-Emotional Learning

There have been a number of studies over the past decade on the prevalence of depression and anxiety among students. It was found that around 25% of students have a diagnosable mental health condition. Of these students close to half of them do not seek treatment or ask for help. More than 80% struggle to cope on a daily basis and 50% suffer from such intense anxiety or depression that they fail in their studies or achieve much lower results than they would be capable of achieving under normal circumstances.

BehaviorParentsSpecial EducationTeachers

Let’s say one of your students is intimidating you or even scaring you. You feel threatened, bullied, and teaching became a real nightmare. Why is this happening? Children with antisocial or extremely aggressive behaviors can be diagnosed with Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) or Conduct Disorder. Putting a definition over these two will help you understand why certain behaviors are being displayed. These are the main things everyone should know about Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) and Conduct Disorder.

BehaviorParentsSpecial EducationTeachers

What is ADHD? Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a neurological disorder that is characterized by developmentally inappropriate hyperactivity, inattention, or impulsivity. It is believed that children with ADHD have an impairment in the brain’s executive functions which affect the way they learn, store, and retrieve information. ADHD is suspected when a child’s behavior in class is problematic. In this article, we will discuss the symptoms of ADHD.

Social-Emotional Learning

Trauma Informed Schools

Children with histories of trauma face academic, behavioral, and relational challenges. Often, these students have poor academic performance, drop out of school, or end up in alternative education settings. Students have diverse backgrounds, and some are exposed to traumatic factors.

What is a trauma informed school? It is a setting where trauma is understood, recognized, and responded to in ways that empower those who are affected. The goal of trauma informed schools is to put in place supports that help children cope. Read this article to learn more.

Social-Emotional Learning

Mindfulness in Schools – Relaxation and Awareness

What is mindfulness? Mindfulness is a technique or practice of being aware of each moment and creating a relaxed state of mind. When applied in schools, mindfulness can increase children’s self-confidence and performance in class.

The goal is to become more aware of thoughts and feelings. You do this in a non-judgmental way, so instead of being overwhelmed, you’ll be able to manage them better. The technique also involves breathing exercises commonly used in meditation or yoga. If this sounds vague to you, read this article to gain a better understanding of mindfulness.