Happy Birthday!

Teaching with the HEART in Mind is turning two!

I cannot believe it has already been two years since this book was published. I continue to be so proud of this work and the impact this resource has had on thousands of educators around the world.

With this book, I hoped to inspire educators to take steps in their SEL journey, deepen their practice and wholeheartedly embrace the idea that learning IS social, emotional and academic.

At the core, this book was written to provide the guidance I wish I had when I was a teacher. My heart is full of gratitude for all the educators, like you, who have let me guide them to a better pathway for Social Emotional Learning.

But I didn’t anticipate how much I would learn and feel energized by the HEART work of others.

On its second anniversary, I want to celebrate the focus, courage, and commitment of these HEART in Mind educators, who are dedicated to creating healthier, safer and more joyful communities for students and adults around the world.

Here are some of their stories. You can share yours here!

Tenley Marshall Escoffery, United States

Last summer, the Art Educators of NJ chose to use Teaching With HEART in Mind for a book study. The group came together to discuss, chart and identify tools and techniques that they could apply to their teaching, particularly they found ways to weave the HEART in Mind model into their everyday practice as educators with their students. The work of art pictured above was created by Tenley Marshall Escoffery, an artist educator and Advisory Council Co-Chair of the Art Educators of NJ, who is dedicated to sharing the magic of creativity and imagination through art, nature, and yoga. She created this piece after attending a workshop on printmaking and making meaning around the time when she was leading the book study.

In their own words: “Students thrive when teachers use HEART. The time we spent together as a reading community connected us with ‘the compass that guides our actions and the choices we make, and the light that will keep us going when things get difficult.’”

Libby Edmonds, South Africa

After 30 years as a teacher, Libby Edmonds knows well the joys and challenges that teachers face globally. She believes that bringing SEL into schools as an integral part of the curriculum is fundamental to our survival in this fast changing world. Five years ago, Libby started EQlibrium to train educators about the importance of becoming more aware, intentional and purposeful with their emotions. Her latest offering, Reframing Education with SEL, is a program for schools and teachers that uses Teaching with the HEART in Mind as a foundational resource to support teachers’ understanding and readiness for SEL implementation. She lives on a farm outside Pietermaritzburg, South Africa.

In the words of Libby: “You have paved a path that inspires me, and with your amazing book I have the tools and confidence to empower other teachers.”

Ashley Tucker, United States

An innovator and SEL-focused public school leader, Ashley Tucker strongly believes in the power of social and emotional learning. SEL provides the skills that we all need to be successful, regardless of age. As a school leader serving students with emotional disabilities, Ashley emphasizes the power of SEL each day with all stakeholders. Ashley started Teachers Pay Black Teachers to create an avenue for sharing culturally responsive SEL resources on a platform accessible to all. In schools, Ashley has used Teaching With the HEART in Mind as a resource in supporting teachers’ orientation to successful SEL implementation. Ashley truly believes in the power of SEL as a vehicle to get us from where we are to where we want to be in education. Every experience is an opportunity for learning and understanding, and SEL provides us with the skills to understand ourselves and each other.

In the words of Ashley: “I have used the book to ground the work I was doing with educators around empathy and connection. Lorea is a gift, and Teaching with the HEART in Mind should be in the hands of every educator as a grounding text for SEL work.”

American School of Guatemala, Guatemala

The American School of Guatemala has used Pedagogía con corazón, the Spanish translation of Teaching with the HEART in Mind, as a professional development tool to allow educators not only to reflect on their teaching and apply new ideas and knowledge, but also to grow at a personal level. The book has been used as a foundation in three different learning opportunities for educators: summer reading open to all levels, book club for Secondary teachers and presentation at AMISA’s educator conference. Four pioneers at the school, Martha Galindo, Jenbli Miranda, Lissette de Aguilar and Maura Herrera, are leading this SEL work, hosting monthly meetings with teachers and creating a space for support, collaboration and deep reflection with the ultimate goal of integrating the HEART in Mind model in all classrooms.

In their own words: “We continue to learn this model and now more than ever, we understand that students’ and educators’ socioemotional skills must take a central place in teaching and learning.”

Liceo Comercial Andrés Bello López, Chile

After participating in a 7-month SEL specialization program, led by HEART in Mind and hosted by Fundación Seminarium, educators from the Liceo Comercial Andrés Bello López, a secondary school in Coronel (Chile), created an implementation plan focused on addressing the needs of students, educators and families. Following the theme “We feel, therefore we learn”, the school created a calendar of lessons and activities to teach HEART skills explicitly, developed a system to follow up with students through small group discussions and mentoring programs, and built time to measure progress on implementation and impact. In addition, educators developed a new project, Espacio Creativo, a space where students can use the arts to express themselves, tap into their creativity and process their feelings.

In their own words: “HEART skills make it possible to understand our own experiences and have awareness of our emotions, which allow us to work better with students, colleagues and families.”

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