If a student dropped to the linoleum floor hungry and ill, as a classroom community, we would come to her aid immediately. We would offer food and comforting words and search out medical support from the school nurse and possibly even dial 9-1-1.
This Sunday, Father's Day, would have been my father's 92nd birthday. It's a day that reminds me how important it is to show our fathers how much we appreciate them while we have them with us.
Here are some questions you can ask yourself to see how well you are doing. You can also draw from some of these as an emotional intelligence-building activity with your students. It might help to refocus their future Father's Days (and yours) toward giving more enduring gifts than typical purchases.
On June 12, Anne Frank could have celebrated her 83rd birthday had she not died in a Nazi concentration camp. It's not a stretch to imagine that she would have been surrounded by loved ones, celebrated for her literary contributions, and acknowledged for her compassion and contributions to peace and justice.
As a clinical psychologist, I don't have strong opinions about whether or not homework should be given. I have doubts about its value, but I believe in deferring educational decisions to those who teach our kids. My concern is not homework, per se, but homework policy and its effects on some kids. I believe that anywhere from 10 percent to 25 percent of all children have such serious problems completing their assignments that, on balance, the overall effect of demanding that they comply does more harm than good. In speaking to countless parents and teachers, the feedback I get is nearly universal. Everyone has a homework horror story to tell.
Among the highlights of the two weeks my wife and I recently spent exploring Bryce, Zion and other wilderness wonders of the Southwest, was watching a beaming little girl, about six or seven years old, get sworn in as a Junior Ranger by a National Park Ranger. That moment capsulized all the moments during the trip when we watched kids of all ages drinking in the trails and vistas. We were continually struck by how many happy, engaged kids we saw. This wilderness experience was clearly enriching for them and for their families. At the same time, it reminded me about the relative absence of these experiences from the lives of most kids, and about how little of this connection between children and the wilderness is cultivated by most schools.
In 2012, Kansas became the first state to create and adopt a set of social, emotional, and character development (SECD) standards. These standards have been aligned with the Kansas Common Core Curriculum Standards, College and Career Readiness, 21st century skills, and other state and federal mandates.
This is part six of the seven-part series from the Project Happiness curriculum. It explores the many facets of happiness and provides practical techniques to generate greater happiness and a more meaningful life -- from the inside. By reclaiming the happiness you were born with, you can influence those around you to tap into the best within themselves, too. Each door can be done alone, or the Seven Doors journey can be done in sequence. You can use this exercise to explore your own relationship to happiness, and/or bring it to your students to help them build a stronger sense of their own happiness. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to post them in the comments section below.
Those of you working in social studies, history, and civics education will find that social, emotional learning (SEL) can help your students pull together what they are learning in engaging ways that also deepen their understanding of the material. I'd like to present a lesson you can use within the context of your current curricula.
While some who hear the term "identity safety" automatically think it means protection against identity theft, that actually serves as a good analogy. A colorblind environment, where differences are left "at the door" is a form of identity theft.