Christine Mason

Reaching Our Most Vulnerable Children

Categories: Pandemic Response and Educational Practices, Social and Emotional Learning (SEL)

 

Alison Gibertoni, fifth-grade teacher, Wallingford, Conn. Picture used with permission.

This entry is the third in a blog series called Pandemic Response and Educational Practices (PREP), which aims to highlight and further the important work educators are doing amid the worldwide COVID-19 crisis.

Teachers are taking extraordinary steps to connect with students, be a buffer to enhance students’ sense of security, and build students’ confidence that we will make it through the COVID-19 crisis together, even at a distance.

Teachers are improvising, relying on online resources, and coming up with schedules for their students to follow—schedules that include a balance between group time, independent learning, and simply time to check in with one another. Read more

Bus driving past a school

The Heart of the Matter: Cultivating Compassionate and Mindful School Communities

Categories: School Improvement, Social and Emotional Learning (SEL)

Based on Mindful School Communities, scheduled for release in February 2020.

“Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive.” —The Dalai Lama

Compassion and love are needed in all areas of our lives. Quite simply, people are hurting and in need of healing. Schools are no different.

Students, teachers, and whole school communities are wrestling with how best to understand and respond to the impactful nature of trauma and stress and how it collides with our ability to function, teach, learn, live, and just be. Sometimes, “students are too scared to learn” (Lacoe, 2013). For many of our students, the impact of stress and trauma is formidable, compromising their physical, social, emotional, or spiritual well-being and academic development (SAMHSA, 2014), playing out in the form of their physiological response system of fight, flight, or freeze (Schwartz, 2016). Read more

Alleviating Trauma

Alleviating Trauma: Promoting Student Well-Being

Categories: School Improvement

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

Trauma, stress, poverty, and violence transcend all boundaries. Recently, we have learned that for some children, what was once considered the shortest route to academic gains—a direct, concentrated focus on academic learning—may be unnecessarily long and even painful. Read more