What I’m Reading

In the age of technology resources and connects are at the your finger tips. Educators have the capacity to share and to learn from colleagues no matter the distance. So, I share with you some things that I have read along my journey

1. Managing emotions in a healthy and effective way is a learned skill, as educators we must be intentional in promoting self awareness and self regulation

2. We must nurture the brain to function as a full “integrated” unit – this integration of hemispheres and their roles will foster resilience.

“Harmony emerges from integration”

3. We must help children develop the capacity to find balance between logic and emotion. A balance between “Chaos & Rigidity” (12)

4. Lets teach children to thrive, not merely survive. 

My favourite part thus far has to be the introduction of The WHEEL OF AWARENESS.  Opening lines of communication with children about elements in their life that they can choose to focus their energy on – empowering individuals to take control of their emotions, actions… and their lives. (102)

Reflection:

I will be the first to advocate for the prioritization of Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) in education today; I strongly believe that the 5 competencies identified by CASEL (2011) are skills key to the development of young people… whole brain/whole person education. These social competencies promote awareness of ones role as a global citizen… and I believe are necessary to success in all aspects of life – within and beyond the walls of the classroom.

  1. Self Awareness
  2. Self Management
  3. Social Awareness
  4. Responsible Decision Making
  5. Relationship Skills

With all of this being said… in the realm of social and emotional learning we must be aware of tendencies to be hypocritical – by this I refer to we as educators becoming aware of our own social and emotional tendencies; reflecting on how we communicate or problem solve, how we choose to handle conflict or disagreement, how we as a school staff interact and function as a system. I feel that for us to be asking students to reflect, to share their feelings, to strive for self regulation – we must do the same.

This article looks at how transformative leadership – “Leadership that is willing to realign structures and relationships to achieve genuine and sustainable change” (11) is needed for the successful implementation of SEL within a school –  transformative leadership guided by purpose and vision…

Really interesting read!

  • Collaborative Teacher Inquiry”                                                                                                        A 2010 article put forth by the Ontario Ministry of eduction discussing 7 characteristics of Teacher inquiry.

Reflection…

Although I am very new to the world of teaching I have already witnessed the importance of collaboration and inquiry in the learning process of both students and teachers. Recently I have been reflecting… what is the purpose of inquiry?

Inquiry is the pursuit of deep understanding, whether it be of ones passion and interests, or a topic that can be put into practice to fulfil student needs. Teacher inquiry when paired with our knowledge of students and their learning has potential to transform our teaching practice – education is not a stagnant profession, and inquiry opens the door to change.

Collaboration is the flint of inspiration, why learn alone when we can learn with and from one another?

The article speaks of Collaborative Teacher Inquiry as being open and flexible,  an ongoing cyclical process of action, collaboration reflection and transformation. This process is so valuable to the learning of teachers… but more importantly, it is a practice we can model to our students and give them opportunity to practice themselves within the classroom. . Openness, flexibility,  effective problem solving and communications skills, qualities associated with successful collaboration are skills

The Ontario Ministry of Education identifies 7 Characteristics of Collaborative Teacher Inquiry. (pages 2-6)

1. Relevant – Student learning guides inquiry.

2. Collaborative – Teacher inquiry is a shared process.

3. Reflective – Actions are informed by reflection 

4. Iterative – Progressive understanding grows from cycles of inquiry

5. Reasoned – Analysis drives deep learning

6. Adaptive – Inquiry shapes practice and practice shapes inquiry

7. Reciprocal – Theory and practice connect dynamically

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