It’s no secret that winter in the Northeast does not generally bring the blue skies and sunshine that so often fill me with energy and excitement. However, as the winter solstice drifts closer and the hours of daylight get shorter, I am reminded the season of gratitude is upon us and during this season, I strive to take a few moments of each day to pause, reflect on the beauty in my life, and express gratitude for all the things that bring me hope and joy.
We are in the business of cultivating successful people. In order to do this, we must put each student first every single day to ensure that their human needs are met by truly knowing each and everyone of them. Student success cannot happen without a strong teacher-student relationship, and at the core of this relationship, is trust. Students who have trust in their educator show greater confidence in themselves, stronger student engagement, and exhibit greater achievement. Trust, or relational trust in education parlance, is built over time through interactions and experiences. Therefore, it is imperative we create relationships from the very first moment of the first day of school.
Excerpt: There are so many innovative ways that, as a team, [teachers and counselors] can plan how to collaborate. What would this look like? It could look like...a Counselor in your room for one period a day, rotating homerooms throughout the week, solely checking for executive functioning skill development which has been pre-planned into your content curriculum. It could look like a Counselor in the classroom as the teacher is teaching, and if a student has a meltdown or issue, the Counselor can attempt to address it within the classroom, or physically close to the classroom, in order to decrease out of classroom time for students.
When we as teachers teach by example, our students become more engaged and can witness the process at work. This simple assignment, meant to stretch my students, also challenged me. I reflected on my practice, and it helped our school level biases. When students have the agency to problem solve, it also opens the doors for us as teachers to lend to the process. When we think about the many ways to impact change in the daily educational experience, we often forget those voices who are being educated. When asked, my students thought critically about change and learned how to advocate in the process. Their voices were valuable in the conversation to improve education, instructional procedures, and operations.
When my grade 9 math students ask me when they are going to use the skills of graphing lines or solving systems of equations in their daily lives, my honest answer is that, depending on what they decide to do in life, they might not. But, I explain, I hope
When I first began teaching second grade inclusion, something surprised me. The activities I anticipated being the most fun and enjoyable parts of the day ended up being the most challenging. Learning games, independent literacy stations, recess, and PE were the most challenging parts of our day. I
Transforming Education (TransformEd) has been working with NewSchools Venture Fund on a multi-year project to assist schools in expanding their definition of student success to include academics, social-emotional competencies, and positive learning environments that support students’ development. As part of this project, TransformEd provides school leaders with
A recent study by Transforming Education, conducted in partnership with NewSchools Venture Fund, suggests that across 18 innovative and diverse charter schools located throughout the country, students report having very different experiences within the same school based on a student survey of the school culture
Practitioners can use CORE benchmarking data to target resources and supports needed most within their schools and districts. Benchmark data can be used to illuminate strengths within and across schools or grade-levels in order to help identify and scale promising practices; it can help leaders and administrators identify disparities in SE development in order to inform resource allocation; and, it can be used to prioritize student SE development goals and set priorities for the year. We recommend that you use following set of questions to help guide your use of the CORE benchmark data to unpack your own students’ social-emotional survey data.
On May 1, more than 300 educators, researchers, and policymakers gathered for the inaugural exSEL Network conference, titled Social-Emotional Learning: Lessons Learned and Opportunities for Massachusetts, led by Transforming Education, the Rennie Center, and SEL4MA. Participants took part in breakout sessions focused on learning from the experiences of districts putting social-emotional learning policies and practices into place and hearing from experts about SEL supports and strategies.