Tagged “School Connectedness”

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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ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

September Strategies to Foster a Successful Classroom Community

Post written by Rachel Lissy

As a professional development trainer with Ramapo for Children, an organization that provides youth programming and adult training for special needs students, I often offer feedback to teachers regarding their classroom and behavior management. Often, when teachers reflect upon a particularly challenging lesson or stressful period, they will get a faraway look in their eyes and pine for the possibilities of next September. As early as October or November they will rue the structures and expectations they did not put in place from day one. "Next year," they tell me, "things will be different. I won't make the same mistakes."

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Emily Buchanan

Defining a Positive School Climate and Measuring the Impact

Last month (April 2013), the National School Climate Center and Fordham University concluded that "sustained positive school climate is associated with positive child and youth development, effective risk-prevention and health-promotion efforts, student learning and academic achievement, increased student graduation rates, and teacher retention."

Having gained increasing potency in the lexicon of education reformers of late, a glut of studies has cemented the concept and significance of the school climate. However, having considered more than 200 research papers that all pointed to the aforementioned conclusion, the Fordham University study uncovered one major issue: What actually constitutes a "positive school climate?"

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ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

Caring Is Essential: School Librarians’ Roles in the Whole Child

Post submitted on behalf of whole child partner American Association of School Librarians by Jami L. Jones, associate professor, Department of Library Science, East Carolina University, Greenville, N.C.

The quintessential role of educators is to provide safe environments for children to flourish emotionally, academically, and physically. As we discuss safety, it is important to consider care—a magic bullet in this conversation.

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Sean Slade

Improving Schools: School Safety

This month we are focusing on school safety, where the initial thought is to discuss physical safety as a reaction to the Sandy Hook tragedy. Yet, in looking back over the articles written recently, there is less about physical safety and more about positive school climate, supportive environments, open doors, and inviting the community into schools.

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John M. Eger

WANTED: Schools Wired for Safety

Many years ago, John Gage, then chief science officer for Sun Microsystems, had an idea. The idea was "NetDay," a grassroots campaign to wire U.S. schools.

Gage, like so many others today, was frustrated that our schools were not getting connected to the Internet fast enough and that a whole generation of young people would suffer. The NetDay concept has grown, and the campaign to wire our schools led to the concept of "smart schools," schools fully equipped with a computer on every desktop and broadband access to the Internet.

So much for the history of the smart school. Less clear is how safe even our smartest schools are in light of recurring school violence, a national epidemic, really. The entire nation is now searching for solutions.

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Klea Scharberg

Throughout February: Safe Schools

Safety is and always will be a fundamental concern for schools. Students who aren't or don't feel safe at school cannot learn, and schools must ensure that their environments are both secure and supportive. The current debate on school safety brings with it a renewed interest in addressing safety, school climate, and mental health concerns at schools and promises to improve school policy and practice.

Yet while the current debate has engaged the nation in communitywide discussions, it also has the potential to overlook the voice of educators. Join us throughout February as we look at what educators (teachers, administrators, and counselors) believe is crucial to making our schools safe—not just physically safe, but also safe places to teach and learn. What can educators do to implement and reinforce the conditions for learning where students are physically and emotionally safe; learn to manage their emotions and relationships positively; and are connected to the school, community, and caring adults?

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