Tagged “School Connectedness”

ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

It Takes a Whole School: School Librarians’ Roles in The Whole Child

Post submitted on behalf of whole child partner American Association of School Librarians by Marcia A. Mardis, assistant professor with the School of Library and Information Science and associate director of the Partnerships Advancing Library Media Center at the iSchool at Florida State University.

"It takes a whole village to raise a child," goes the African proverb in the focus of Jane Cowen-Fletcher's 1994 children's book1. I'd like to build on this wisdom to propose that it takes a whole school to educate the whole child. All of us, policymakers; communities; families; administrators; staff; teachers; and, importantly, school librarians, must work in concert to ensure that children are healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged. School librarians have a special contribution to creating an environment that welcomes all forms of expression; creativity; and active, interdisciplinary learning.

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Stephen Sroka

Tips from the Trenches: Teaching

During the last few months, I have had the chance to talk with several speakers who strongly affected their audiences. I started to think about the remarkable leaders with whom I have worked over the years and how they have made huge differences with their incredible wisdom, insight, and actions. I contacted some of them and asked them to comment on working in education in these difficult times. I asked them to share some take-away messages, so that, if they were speaking, what would they want their audience to remember? Read the other installments in the series: school safety, student services, and administration.

The bottom line in education takes place when the teacher shuts the door with the classroom full of students. Some say that teaching is a science and some say it is an art. Many educators know that students do not care what you teach, if you do not teach that you care. Here are some "Tips from the Trenches" from those who are or have been in the classroom.

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Stephen Sroka

Tips from the Trenches: Student Services

During the last few months, I have had the chance to talk with several speakers who strongly affected their audiences. I started to think about the remarkable leaders with whom I have worked over the years and how they have made huge differences with their incredible wisdom, insight, and actions. I contacted some of them and asked them to comment on working in education in these difficult times. I asked them to share some take-away messages, so that, if they were speaking, what would they want their audience to remember? Read the other installments in the series: school safety, administration, and teaching.

Students are more than grade-point averages. Often they are faced with many barriers to effective education. Dealing with the whole child, and not just the academic child, can help facilitate learning. Safe and healthy students learn more. Here are some "Tips from the Trenches" about the value of supporting students.

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Stephen Sroka

Tips from the Trenches: School Safety

During the last few months, I have had the chance to talk with several speakers who strongly affected their audiences. I started to think about the remarkable leaders with whom I have worked over the years and how they have made huge differences with their incredible wisdom, insights, and actions. I contacted some of them and asked them to comment on working in education in these difficult times. I asked them to share some take-away messages, things that if they were speaking, they would want their audience to remember. Read the other installments in the series: student services, administration, and teaching.

School safety was a front page story following the tragic shooting deaths of 28 people, including 20 children, at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. Students need a safe school to learn. Most of these "Tips from the Trenches" regarding school safety were written before the Connecticut shootings.

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Klea Scharberg

Support, Optimism, and Hope

No community is immune to the effects of traumatic events. Our ASCD community includes the students, teachers, and residents of Newtown, Conn. This morning we shared posts from our archives that speak to providing safe and connected learning environments. We hope the following resources from ASCD and our Whole Child Partners connect to educators, families, and communities' resilient spirit so that they can tap the resilient spirit in their students.

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Sean Slade

What’s in Our Control: Safer, Connected Environments

Almost no one has been unaffected by the events in Newtown, Conn., last week—especially if they are a teacher or parent or have kids who go to elementary school, as many of us do. It's hard to discuss and even harder to make any kind of sense out of what happened.

Today we highlight posts from our archives, the ASCD community, and our partner organizations that speak to how we can make our schools and communities safer and more connected. While we cannot immediately change policies that affect our schools and larger communities, we can strengthen our resolve to make sure that we create environments for our kids that are welcoming, supportive, and caring. The immediate reaction is to hunker down; however, as we hear so often, the best next steps are to open doors, re-engage and reconnect.

We hope the following pieces may resonate or help. Standing strong together and reminding ourselves that a connected community is a safer and friendlier community may be the best action we can take right now, and it's something we can have some control over.

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Celina Brennan

Inspire the Whole Child

Establishing a thriving learning environment is instrumental in students obtaining personal success. We must be strategic in how we develop our classroom communities at the beginning of a new school year. The setting must support the whole child, adapting to the needs of the group as everyone settles in for the yearlong learning journey. The environment must specifically be designed to support the health and safety of our students, strengthening the emotional well-being of each individual. Providing an atmosphere that supports learning endeavors from every angle offers students many opportunities to be truly engaged and challenged.

But how do we guarantee that we WILL develop a solid foundation that supports the whole child?

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ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

Engaging the Whole Community to Support Positive Bus Behavior

Jessica Bohn

Post submitted by Jessica Bohn, principal at Gibsonville Elementary School in Gibsonville, N.C. She has worked at all levels K–16, including as a university assistant director, assistant principal, district curriculum specialist, and science teacher. Bohn is a member of the ASCD Emerging Leaders Class of 2012 and is passionate about STEM education and 21st century learning.

If you are an educational leader, you know that promoting positive behavior on the school bus can be a challenge. Students are often tired, restless, and ready for unstructured play at the end of a school day. Last year, I was presented with the data that our buses were the location of the majority of our discipline referrals, and I wondered what I could do about it.

We are a Positive Behavior Intervention and Support (PBIS) school, but translating those practices to the school buses has been challenging. Principals do not often supervise bus drivers or establish bus routes, but they often bear the responsibility for student discipline on school buses. It is also important to acknowledge that the well-being of children as they arrive and depart from school can affect their outlook on the educational environment. I decided that I needed to engage our larger community in the discussion in order to understand the whole child and make a difference.

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Klea Scharberg

How to Identify, Prevent, and Respond to Cyberbullying

In this video, cyberbullying expert Justin Patchin defines cyberbullying and provides tips for schools on appropriate prevention and response practices. Use this video to start a discussion with your staff about what cyberbullying is and which policies and strategies are most effective for disarming it.

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ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

Getting the Results You Want

Post submitted by Whole Child Blogger Matt Swift

During Baruti Kafele's ASCD Summer Conference session,"Motivating Black Males to Succeed in school and in Life," the former principal grabbed the audience's attention with his commanding presence and no-nonsense discussions about how to help struggling black students. He started the session by asking members of the audience to share their classroom stories to create a conversation and point out common themes the educators shared.

"You guys selected this session because you are having trouble with black male students," Kafele stated. "So, tell me some of these problems."

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