Articles about Social and Emotional Learning (SEL), Mindfulness in the Classroom and Trauma Informed Teaching
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!
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
What do a French philosopher, a modern neurologist, and trees have to do with emotional intelligence?
First, that we must stop trying to understand and teach emotional intelligence through the lens of thought alone.
We may not be able to see, touch, feel, or even measure the immediate impact of teaching a lesson on mindfulness, active listening, or self-compassion. And, in truth, the work is difficult, messy, ambiguous, and outside the comfort zone of many adults still grappling with their own emotional intelligence. As long as we remain clear on our why, however, we will find our how.
Life moves in a series of rhythms. In each day there is a natural rhythm to the rising and setting of the sun, and in each year there is a rhythm to the passing of seasons. Even closer to home, life itself depends on the ever-changing rhythm of our heart and lungs. And, in our daily lives, we experience the varied rhythms of stress, productivity, relaxation, rest, and pleasure.