Social-Emotional Learning

One of the toughest things for many of us has been navigating all of the roles we play and every system we’re a part of while facing unprecedented change. That kind of shift is not easy and we’ve never all been asked to do it at the same time before. This is a first. It’s okay to feel a range of emotions. For me, I feel them all at different times every day – sometimes hourly! So, for today, I simply want to share a few simple strategies I’ve practiced. I am hopeful that there will be a takeaway or two for you that can be utilized in your homes, for your students, or in your virtual classrooms.

Social-Emotional Learning

You can’t create a shift in the lives of our students and staff without (you guessed it) creating a shift in the system! So, where do we start? As Maria Von Trapp might suggest, “let’s start at the very beginning. A very good place to start.” Who doesn’t love a good nod to the Sound of Music? But, I digress. For our purposes, the beginning is a solid multi-disciplinary team with a shared passion for the vision and a willingness to be the champions of the cause. Together we will explore the purpose of this team, 10 strategies to create and sustain the team and it’s work and a brief overview of next steps. 

Social-Emotional Learning

Name It to Tame It is one of my favorite strategies and recently, I have found myself naming and attempting to tame endlessly with little relief. I’m grateful, scared, angry, sad, hopeful, lonely, joyful and so on and so forth. Despite my greatest efforts, I am more dysregulated than usual and I am exhausted. As I head into my 5th week of a stay at home order, I have done quite a bit of research in an attempt to give language to the rollercoaster of emotions I have witnessed in others and have experienced firsthand. It was when I was listening to a podcast with Dr. Brene Brown and David Kessler that I had several AHA! moments. This is grief. It is not just personal grief or secondary grief but collective grief. We are grieving, we are comparing suffering and at times we are judging one another’s grief. Oof! That’s a lot. But as I dug into those ideas, I felt healing.

Social-Emotional Learning

As I’ve pondered these points and worked with others creating plans for their schools, I have seen a lot of resources focused on trying to get back on track. Then today, I watched Becoming on Netflix and heard Michelle Obama speak about her transition to the White House. She was asked how she got her life back on track during or after the transition and she replied, “It’s not getting back on track, but it’s creating my next track.” Of course! For years, we have been talking about the paradigm shift from traditional to trauma informed or healing centered engagement. We have been training for this and studying it and it is time to go full force in creating that track. But, how? Here are 6 tips for a healing re-entry plan for schools.

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.

Social-Emotional Learning

School faculty members know a range of techniques for helping to support the educational needs of their students, but what about the social-emotional needs? Far too many students are struggling with social-emotional needs, yet teachers are unaware or uncertain of how to handle them. Often, these students can be severely withdrawn from their peers or they can have a hard time following the rules and procedures of the classroom. So how can we identify and support students with social-emotional needs?

Social-Emotional Learning

The holiday season is filled with expectations of joy, excitement, and happiness. But while it’s a very happy time for many, it can be a difficult time for some, exacerbating feelings of anxiety and depression. Many students, particularly those in poverty and those who have experienced loss or trauma, struggle emotionally during the holiday season. This shows up in their behavior at school, either through outbursts, aggressive behavior, being withdrawn, sad, or angry. In this post, we will give teachers some tips on how to help students emotionally through the holiday season.

BehaviorLeadership

Many schools across the US are finding it hard to deal with student misbehavior. And usually, students are punished for not knowing how to behave rather than being taught appropriate behavior. The objective of Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) is teaching positive behavior. You may be asking, “What is PBIS?” This article will answer that question.

Teachers

Teachers can be very busy with giving lessons, preparing lessons, extramural activities, families, and dealing with day-to-day living to the point that they forget to take care of themselves. Just like with any profession, it is easier to put your best foot forward daily if you are healthy. Here are some practical tips on how teachers can stay healthy.

Social-Emotional Learning

Everyone experiences trauma of various degrees during their lifetime and how we cope with them can depend on the severity of the trauma and the support given thereafter. Childhood trauma is often misunderstood or overlooked in a belief that since the child is young, they will either not remember the trauma or not understand what has occurred and so be less affected by this. This can result in trauma related disorders that can affect them in a myriad of ways as they mature.