I took this picture last week from a 15th-century watchtower, not far away from where I grew up. The tower sits on a mountaintop with a cliff rising above the Mediterranean sea, one of the best panoramic views of the Costa Brava.
As I stood inside the watchtower, I thought about those whose job was to watch over the coast and protect it against possible privateer and pirate attacks, which were very frequent during the 15th and 16th centuries. What were their thoughts? What did they feel?
When pirate ships were spotted, the guards rang the tower bells and this warned the town that privateers were coming. This way, the townsfolk would have time to go inland and hide. Their town would be sacked but there would be no victims. The bells continued ringing from one tower to another and that way everyone could be saved1.
As you are preparing for the new school year, think about your school watchtower. What are the tools, resources and systems that you need in order to have a better view of what is happening with your own social and emotional capacity, and that of the teachers that you work with? Where will you stand (physically and figuratively) to keep a pulse on the emotional weather of the school, so you can intentionally plan to support students and educators with the skills that they need to thrive this year?
Now, think about the “guards” at the school, who can warn the learning community about the challenges and difficulties ahead. These guards can be students, educators, families and community members, who work together to ensure that crucial information is communicated at the right time and that there is a shared purpose to protect and support a thriving school.
This school year, I would like you to deeply consider how you will support yourself and your colleagues to develop the necessary SEL skills to build resilience, purpose and a sense of hope for the future. As you are building your own watchtower and recruiting your guards, I would like to offer you a resource that can help you prepare for your best SEL year.
Growing Your HEART Skills is an online course that can be taken by individual educators and/or implemented as a school-wide initiative. If you are looking for whole school implementation, I can help you think through different adoption formats. Get in touch here.
Keep reading for more details about the course and reach out if you have any questions or need additional support.
Look forward to a school year full of all things SEL!
Torre de Guaita de Sant Sebastià. (2022). Visit Palafrugell. https://visitpalafrugell.cat/proposta/torre-de-guaita-de-sant-sebastia/
Growing Your HEART Skills is a 7-module online course that will teach you the HEART in Mind Model and help you develop your social and emotional capacity so that you can reclaim your joy for education, become a better educator, and live your entire life with more compassion, empathy, and peace.
As part of Growing Your HEART Skills, you’ll receive:
- 7 Learning Modules that will teach you the five HEART skills step-by-step
- 14 tools to help you dig deeper into what you’re learning in the course and implement it into your work and life, including a pre and post assessment of HEART skills
How does that sound? I am SO excited that this NEW online course is finally ready, and that you will be able to get the support you need to grow your HEART skills.
Learn all about my new course and get started today by clicking on this link. And if you are looking for bulk orders for your school or district, reach out with your details.