29 minutes | Jul 24th 2020

Ep. 77: Students Care About SEL, with Dominique Brooks

We have so much to learn from our students, and we have so much to gain by opening up to their insights and their view on the world in this time of massive changes across the globe.   SEL does not have to be delivered through some organized curriculum.  In fact, all that's really needed is real connections.  Connections in class don't have to be perfect, but they do have to be real for everyone's benefit and progress.  The research validates these insights, and Dominique's experience leaves no doubt: kids want to be seen, want to be respected, want to learn... but learning is seriously handicapped when kids don't feel respected. And, as Dominque explained, the respect has to go both ways for the purpose of school to be successful.  

These are the days for self-examination.  What unconscious biases are we controlled by?  How much does white privilege (our own or others') impact our lives?  How do we really feel about our students' values, perspectives, unique forms of intelligence?   How open are we to learning from our students and our children? How open are we to sharing ourselves with our students?  How well developed are our own listening skills?  How much do we trust that our students are ready and willing to learn and grow with us, once they feel safe and seen?  How well do we remember our own feelings when we were the age of our students?  How do those memories inform us, and how can those memories guide us into more mutually respectful, productive and enjoyable relationships with our students?   How open are we to evolving our definition of our role in students' lives?   How committed are we to a lifetime of real learning?  The kind of learning that challenges and even breaks our boundaries. 

SEL (Social Emotional Learning) isn't for wimps, but neither is it all that complicated.  Listening to our students (even and sometimes most especially the "troublemakers") will help us move forward on this great learning journey... for everyone's well being.

--- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/nini-white/message
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