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.
"We want to find a person behind the pen." -- Professional Writing Retreat Handbook
Last weekend I attempted to draft an inspirational message for my English education majors. Maybe because I haven't yet mastered a grownup man voice -- I'm 48 -- or because of the paragraph's naked sentimentality, the passage sounded fake and bloated, like words pushed through a megaphone: too much volume, not enough texture, and a void where there should have been confidence. To find out more about what was missing, I turned to science.
A few years ago, one of my teacher interns at San Francisco State University wrote a paper that was like the voice of a trickster, waking me up and reminding me of what I occasionally missed as a teacher. The assignment was to recall what it was like for them when they were in high school and to write a letter to their high school teachers advising them about how they might have better served them as students.
Question: How can you help colleagues integrate social, emotional learning (SEL)-related approaches into existing curriculum and instruction and reconnect with their key role as relationship builders and inspirers of student engagement?
With the release of the film Bully and daily news reports about the devastating impact on students who have been relentlessly bullied, teachers find themselves on the front line in addressing bullying. It is time to move into action. Not In Our School offers solutions-based strategies and tools for change to a network of schools that are working to create safe, inclusive and accepting climates. The core ideas and actions of Not In Our School include:
Earlier this month, a New York Times article by Annie Murphy Paul suggested that reading fiction was a powerful way to build social-emotional skills. She cited the work of several researchers in support of this, and I followed up one line of work, by Raymond Mar (York University, Canada). I am convinced, as well.
This is part five 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.