Articles about Social and Emotional Learning (SEL), Mindfulness in the Classroom and Trauma Informed Teaching

Notes From The Field – Mindful Body 3rd Grade Lesson

Students are able to share different instances when they felt emotions in their body. One student explains he is feeling the excitement in his fingers and hands because he has a football game later that day, another boy shares his mind feels yellow with joy, and a girl in the front shares her stomach hurts because she is feeling sad today. Ms. Larson acknowledges and supports each emotion expressed by her student and explains her own personal feelings, that she too has felt sad, excited, and happy all even in one day. 

Defining Your Purpose – Social & Emotional Learning Lesson Highlight

“Lack of meaning,” as described by psychologists Faramarzi & Bavali in a 2017 study  “is the chief source of stress as well as anxiety, and logotherapy aids the patients to reach the meaning of life.”…Yet, when I ask people directly “What is your purpose in life?” there are very few who can answer the question clearly, or even at all. How different might our world look if we taught children from a young age how to discover, explore, and pursue their purpose?

A Mindful Approach to New Year’s Resolutions

If mindfulness is based on present moment awareness and goal setting is based on future hopes and plans, can the two even co-exist? Striking this combination of staying focused on the present while aiming towards our future desires can be a powerful duo when paired skillfully. This article is intended to support you and your students in bringing more mindful awareness to your process of setting goals – and hopefully more joy and less stress as a result! 

Tips for the Trauma Informed Educator: Stress & Trauma as Resilience Factors

Being a trauma-informed educator does not mean that we need to protect our students from all possible stressors and difficult experiences, rather, it means we have a deeper understanding of our students’ emotional states and we work to empower them to respond effectively to challenges and stressors….If we as parents and educators remove all stress from a child’s life we are robbing them of their richest opportunities for growth.  

Social and Emotional Learning Tips: The Importance of Effective Communication

Communication is a vital aspect of the human experience and an important skill to foster, practice, and understand in K-12 schooling. Whether it be communicating with a friend through written email exchange, communicating face-to-face with a colleague to settle a disagreement, or communicating non-verbally with body language, humans have found ways to communicate since the beginning of time.

School-Based Mindfulness – Examining the Evidence

With the evidence supporting effective results from adult populations practicing mindfulness, many schools and researchers around the world are growing more interested in mindfulness with students. This article provides a brief overview of several studies demonstrating positive outcomes associated with mindfulness-based interventions geared specifically towards youth.

Social-emotional Learning for Teachers Integral to Developing “Deep Practices”

Teachers choose education as a path because they want to make a difference in kids’ lives. However, in very few of these formal frameworks for evaluation and conduct do we see this intrinsic motivation reflected clearly and without ambiguity. Broken by the disconnect between these external structures and their internal values, far too many of our teachers burn out.

Journaling as a Social Emotional Learning Practice

Journaling and writing about past stressful events can help individuals work through the experience and reduces the impact of the stressors on ones’ physical health. Further research indicates that journaling also bolsters the analytical and rational parts of the brain.

The Ecology of Relationships are Key to Understanding Social and Emotional Learning

All things exist in relationship. We cannot expect to understand the health of a plant, or a human, without understanding the context in which it lives, breathes and grows. In the same way, we cannot expect to implement effective educational reform without understanding the equally intricate web of relationships present in a classroom, school, and community.