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Showing posts from October, 2018

Teaching Survivors of Trauma

Dr. Nadine Burke Harris wrote a wonderful, accessible book, The Deepest Well. This post is a review of the book and a reflection of its contents.

I teach children who have been through a variety of traumas. From physical, psychological, sexual, and emotional abuse to poverty, war, transience, and neglect. I teach foster kids, kids who live in battered women's shelters or homeless shelters, kids who need backpacks of food sent home every week. 18 of my 350+ students have no risk factors for lower academic achievement.

Our principal is dedicated to a school culture that gives these children a safe, peaceful place at school. If you ever interview to teach in a high-needs school, make sure you interview them right back. Make sure they have a dynamite principal. If they don't, don't take the job. You can't save the world alone. You definitely can't help the kids if you are slowly losing your own mind. I have an awesome principal. I am safe to find out what I don't kno…

Social and Emotional Learning--SEL

Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) is the latest craze in education, and it's about time! Our students are more than data machines. They are complex individual human beings, trying to figure out how they fit in the world. As education deals with behavior from the standpoint of helping rather than punishing, thousands of teachers are finding their classrooms transforming into better places to be.

That having been said, I don't want to give you the impression that bad behavior is unaddressed in a Responsive, PBIS, or Second Step, SEL classroom. What I am saying is that those incidents are greatly reduced or eliminated all-together because of the front-loading of social and emotional skills.

Were these skills once learned at home?
Why aren't they being learned now?
Wrong question. Teacher's can't change that. We have to teach the students society brings us. I strive to raise my child to have these skills. It is a priority in our family. I'll do me. You do yo…