Tagged “School Culture”

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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Barry Saide

Learn. Teach. Lead. This Time with Passion!

In order for me to lead effectively in my classroom, I needed to make sure I was teaching the right things. Otherwise, what were students learning? And, why were they learning it?

Students need to be personally invested in their learning in order for them to be most successful. What's taught needs to be relevant to them. The curriculum can be rigorous to the 10th power, but if it isn't taught in a way that is engaging and fun, students will not produce work that is reflective, vulnerable, risky, and potentially full of mistakes.

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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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Start Empathy

Empathy? An Ethos Born in the Staffroom

Post written by Vinciane Rycroft for Ashoka's Start Empathy Initiative, a whole child partner organization. Originally published in the Times Educational Supplement Pro.

Girl Reading Ian, aged 8, throws his younger brother Robin on the ground. Tears and screaming. It's the fifth or sixth time already today. (I'm strong; I'm superman!) Both of them have just lost their mother after two years of a very painful illness. As educators, we witness this very human story again and again, every day. It shows clearly the process of bullying. How do we respond?

Daniel Favre is a teacher, teacher trainer, and professor in both neuroscience and education. His work studies the process of youth violence. It also shows how supporting teachers in cultivating empathy can break the cycle of youth violence and improve maths results. His 50-hour programme trains educators to minimise students' fear of learning and dogmatic perceptions. Regardless of their subject, teachers learn six different skills: to clearly distinguish error and fault when giving feedback to students, encourage emotional literacy, facilitate team work, emphasize our common humanity, establish a nonviolent mode of authority, and strong personal listening skills and empathy.

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ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

Free Webinar: Walk-Throughs for Teachers Observing Peers

Join Donald Kachur, author of the new ASCD book Engaging Teachers in Classroom Walkthroughs, in a free webinar on learning how to plan and implement an engaging form of embedded professional development in which teachers are actively involved as observers of peers in classroom walk-throughs.

Tuesday July 30, 2013, 3:00 p.m. eastern time
Register now!

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Start Empathy

Facilitating Leadership

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

Amy Potsou and Elizabeth Stickley have a unique approach to educating students. As 3rd grade and 1st grade teachers at North Glendale Elementary School in Kirkwood, Missouri, they strive to help children "walk in the shoes of others, even if they are of a different background," and "assist others because it's the right thing to do,” not because there's a reward. According to Potsou and Stickley, these are the characteristics of a leader—yet these skills are difficult to teach.

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Pam Allyn

Field Notes: Raising Learning Warriors

Moses was my student in Brooklyn, N.Y. He came from Guyana, was 10 years old, and deaf. His mother, who spoke no English and knew no one in New York, had made the treacherous journey to the United States to give him the opportunity to go to school. He was the skinniest boy I had ever seen, with longer-than-long legs that he sometimes tripped over when he ran. Moses was not getting enough to eat at home, so I started bringing him food. Some days, he did not eat from the time he left me until the next morning at school.

Moses and his mother lived in one tiny room where the heat sometimes did not work. His mother worked two jobs and was rarely home for more than an hour when Moses returned from school. Yet here he was, at long last, in a school for the deaf where he could finally thrive and learn.

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