Today is my children’s last day of school. This morning, while we were cuddling in bed, my husband asked them to tell us what they had learned this year.
My 7-year old talked about learning how to divide numbers using blocks, read chapter books AND spend time with different friends, not just her two good friends. My 10-year old talked about improving her hand writing, getting more confident in math AND staying away from people that like to create drama among friends.
This conversation brought a smile to my face and a sense of hope for the future. These kids are learning not only academics, but also the skills to successfully navigate their social worlds. We are fortunate to have a school that explicitly teaches SEL, and integrates the practice of these social and emotional skills into everything they do. But not all schools are like that.
And I want that for ALL children.
No matter their background or where they live, children deserve an education that considers the whole person, recognizes the essential role SEL plays in learning and is sensitive to the trauma and adversity kids experience in their communities or as a result of systemic racism and discrimination.
This is why I continue to do this work, spending time building educators and school leaders capacity to teach and lead with the HEART in mind. Although difficult and exhausting at times, I know this work is worth doing.
And I hope that you also see the value of the work you do as an educator. Your work matters.
Coming up this summer, there are several opportunities for you to strengthen your SEL practice, as a person and as an educator. Take a look at these offerings and see what best fits your needs.
- Growing Your HEART Skills Course. My new online course is almost ready! This is probably the most in-depth and personal resource that I have created. It is an asynchronous course with 7 modules, 14 tools and opportunities for group or individual coaching. This course is designed to help you reclaim your joy, find purpose and feel more empowered in your life. If you are interested, let me know and I’ll put you on the VIP list!
- Teaching with the HEART in Mind book club. If you are planning to use the book for your summer or fall PD, let me know! I may be able to join you for a quick-off or final Q&A. It is always a treat to meet my readers! And make sure you download the discussion guide.
- Trauma-Invested Institute. This summer, I am part of the Trauma-Invested Institute hosted by Peter Hall and Kristin Souers. This is a completely virtual event with sessions available until August 31st. Check it out!
- National Gallery of Art Educator Summer Institute. I am really excited to be the opening keynote speaker for this fantastic event, which explores the connection between art, SEL and critical thinking. This year they have both virtual and in-person options.
- Summer Principals Academy at Columbia University Teachers College. For the last 5 years, I have been teaching an Emotional Intelligence course for aspiring principals at Columbia University. If you are looking for a principal preparation program, this is one of the best. SEL and mindfulness are key parts of this program.
For my Spanish-speaking friends, these are some additional opportunities to learn about best SEL practices:
- Diplomado de aprendizaje socioemocional, hosted by Fundación Educacional Seminarium. This is a specialization program for school teams to learn everything you need to implement SEL effectively at your school. It starts in August 2022.
- Diplomado en Innovación y Liderazgo para las Escuelas del Futuro, hosted by Fundación Educacional Seminarium and Caja de los Andes. This program is 100% free, designed to equip leaders with the tools to address the most pressing needs of our times. I’ll be there talking about SEL, along with other international scholars.
Stay tuned for the launch of the Growing Your HEART Skills course!
Hope you have a restful, joyful and insightful summer.