Tagged “School Connectedness”

Stephen Sroka

Getting to the Heart of Education: Listening to the Whole At-Risk Student

"Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all." —Aristotle

Many at-risk students in schools are crying out for help with their real-life issues, yet many educators respond with an emphasis on academic proficiency skills. With today's stress on academic achievement at all costs with little regard for the mental, social, physical, emotional, or spiritual aspects of the whole student, many teachers teach tests and not students. Students become grade-point averages and not people. And many students tune out and drop out, literally or figuratively. What do our at-risk students need? What can you do to make a difference?

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Kristen Pekarek

Strong Relationships Are Key

Strong Relationships Are Key - Whole Child Blog

Relationships have not only proven to be good for our physical health, but our spiritual and emotional health as well. It is through relationships with other human beings that we grow and evolve, as well as deepen and expand our love and meaning in life. As many of you are aware, today is Valentine's Day. Whether or not you like this holiday, it comes each year to provide time for each of us to reflect on and grow our personal and professional relationships.

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Kristen Pekarek

Celebrate School Counselors This Week

National School Counseling WeekNational School Counseling Week, sponsored by whole child partner the American School Counselor Association (ASCA), is being celebrated this week, February 3–7, to focus public attention on the unique contribution professional school counselors have on students and school systems everywhere. National School Counseling Week highlights the tremendous impact school counselors can have in helping students achieve school success and plan for a career.

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ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

Free Webinar—Hanging In: Working with Challenging Students

Jeffrey BensonJoin Jeffrey Benson, author of the ASCD book Hanging In: Strategies for Teaching the Students Who Challenge Us Most, for an exciting, free webinar on what you can do now for a challenging student in your school.

Thursday, January 30, 2014, 3:00 p.m. eastern time
Register now!

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Klea Scharberg

Have We Made Our Schools Safer?

This past weekend marked one year since the tragic school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. During this time, we read, listened to, and participated in discussions on how to keep our schools safe and secure. And also during this time, at least 25 school shootings have occurred, including Friday's shooting at Arapahoe High School in Colorado. School safety is a complicated issue with no single or simple solution.

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Start Empathy

Empathy and Racism

Post written by Madeleine Rogin for Ashoka's Start Empathy Initiative, a whole child partner organization.

Leading education theorists, such as Howard Gardner and Tony Wagner, have written about the importance of cultivating our students' abilities to communicate across "networks"—skills that are crucial to success in our new global reality. And indeed, there's already been a popular acceptance that teaching around the topics of race, racism, and communicating across differences is an essential part of education in the 21st century. But in many classroom conversations, racism is framed as something of the past rather than a present reality. In addition, white children often think of slavery or the Jim Crow laws as something horrific that happened to "them," but do not see these events as something that is bad for "us" as a whole. To avoid this mistake, we can focus on empathy in the classroom as a way to prevent exclusionary behavior and "othering," which may move students to stand up against bias and prejudice.

Looking toward the future, the next step is to ask ourselves, as educators and parents, how do we go about these conversations in a way that promotes values such as inclusivity and empathy?

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Mindful Practices

Resilience: It’s a Practice

Post written by Carla Tantillo and Lara Veon, Mindful Practices

Among the most heartbreaking moments as an educator is that of observing a student who doesn't believe in herself and sees a mistake—be it a social interaction gone bad or a failing grade—as a fracture of character instead of an opportunity for growth. Similarly upsetting is witnessing a student who experiences trauma and loss withdraw or act out in unpredictable and often disruptive behavior.

At moments like these resilience often seems an inconsistent trait. However, similarly to other social-emotional skills, the practice of helping students cultivate resilience can indeed be taught. It needn't occur in isolation and it should be taught with a whole child approach. Below are five strategies for integrating resiliency development into your classroom:

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ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

Student Voice and Resilience in Learning

Post written by Kristine Fox, Megan Bedford, and Brian Connelly

Although research has a lot to say about how to foster academic resilience, encouraging student voice—which an abundance of research shows to have a positive effect on school success—has been largely overlooked (Mager & Nowak, 2012; McNulty & Quaglia, 2007; Mitra, 2004). Student voice and academic success are inextricably linked—even among students from challenged backgrounds.

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ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

Three Pillars for Supporting Resilience

Post written by Cheryl J. Wright

To give all students the opportunity to achieve excellence in their education, educators know that students, especially at-risk learners, need to develop resilience in their pursuit of learning. Yet teachers often wonder, what specifically enables some students to persevere, while others appear to easily give up?

Although research indicates that resilient students most likely have personal characteristics like social competence and a sense of purpose, it is helpful to consider additional aspects that contribute to resilient students' achievement: the learning environment, instructional pedagogy, and teacher dispositions (Benard, 1997; Bruce, 1995; Wright, 2011).

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ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

The Whole Child Is a Resilient Child

Post written by Bonnie Benard

To build the resilience of students who face adversity, we need to nurture the whole spectrum of their developmental needs.

Forty years of resilience research following children who face multiple challenges into adulthood has yielded a surprising but consistent finding: Most children and youth—even those coming from highly stressed or abusive families or from resource-deprived communities—do somehow manage to overcome their often overwhelming odds and become "competent, confident, and caring" adults (Werner & Smith, 2001).

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