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.
From the ASCD EDge® community:
- "Trying to Make Sense of a Senseless Act" by Tom Whitby
- "Talking to Kids About Traumatic Events" by Mike Fisher
- "Teacher Effectiveness and Newtown, CT" by Thom Markham
From the Whole Child Blog:
- "Best Questions: Supportive Education Communities" by Molly McCloskey
- "What Do Your Students Need?" by Klea Scharberg
- "The Unknown Students" by Sean Slade
- "Resilience, Research, and Educational Reform" by Sara Truebridge
- "Positive Youth Development?" by Sean Slade
- "Our Job Is Done ... Because We Care" by Klea Scharberg
Learn about being a supportive education community from Byrne Creek Secondary School in Vancouver, British Columbia, in Canada:
- "The Story of H.E.A.R.T." by Mike Greenway and Lynn Archer
- "Village of Attachment" by Bev Ogilvie and Steve Cairns
- "I Am Byrne Creek," a student-written poem
- Whole Child Podcast episode on "Coordinated and Collaborative Responses to Diverse Student Needs"
Gain further insight into ways to support a caring and positive school climate through these presentations from the Whole Child Virtual Conference:
- Maurice Elias on School Climate Supporting the Whole Child
- Bob Sullo on Engaging the Whole Child: The Missing Piece in the PD Puzzle
- Peter DeWitt on Dignity for All: Safeguarding LGBT Students
- Charles C. Haynes on Bridging Religious and Cultural Divides: Empowering Students from Across the Globe to Learn With, From, and About One Another
As a part of the 2011 virtual conference, Healthy School Communities mentor site Orange County (N.C.) School District shared how it developed and implemented a critical incident stress management system. View the archived presentation to hear about the process and benefits.