Well-Being in Our Relationships Part 1 of 3
One of my grade 3 students said recently, “You mean we can be friends again after we make a mistake?” She was sorry for bullying another child on the playground. She longed to be friends again and thought that would never be possible.
How many of us do that? We make a mistake in our communication and feel like it can never be restored.
At school, administrators and teachers experience on-going stress and overload as we strive to meet the needs of every student. At report card time, we can walk into a staff room and physically sense the tension. It seems that most administrators and teachers experience stress from the end of August to the end of June.
Chronic stress inhibits change. Yet, we must change with our students, with the
digital age, with meeting educational expectations. Sometimes it feels like two plates on a fault line pushing up against one another, the pressure is so intense for so long. Then suddenly everything changes. What or who can we count on when the circumstances seem dire?
Imagine a staff with well-developed social and emotional skills. Did you know…
We can lower the stress thermometer? We must arm teachers with tools that
lower stress and make teaching fun again.
Social and emotional learning skills must address the educator first. Teacher wellness is the key to student success.
Imagine if our relationships worked. Not just amicably but relationships that are uplifting and genuinely caring and supportive.
What if there is a way to disappear hard feelings? To be totally understood by another? Coming from a neutral and open place where one is free to listen and understand? Where one could respond and not react?
These are social and emotional skills that can be taught. Imagine if we all learned these core skills? What would the workplace be like? What would our classrooms be like?
Maybe our students would build each other up, rather than put each other down.
Maybe they wouldn’t abuse drugs and alcohol. Perhaps they would be able to look at
another point of view and really “get” the other person. How amazing would that be?
On the side of the recipient, what would it be like to be totally understood by someone, even though they might not agree with you?
And maybe both students and adults would learn how to make things right because we know, life doesn’t work without trust. What if we could regain trust with another person using a simple strategy? That would be liberating!
My grade 3 students wrote a song with their music teacher during our unit together. I
think it would make a powerful school song. I am thrilled that it was shared at our Quest Conference. Listen to the song here.
It is critical that students understand we are all capable of making mistakes and
that “failure” is a wonderful teacher. And we can all recover from our
failures/mistakes by making it right. People are always changing and their
behavior is not who they are…we must make that distinction for our students.
Let’s equip our teachers in how to address interpersonal issues. Problem solving can
only occur in a clearing. Did you know you can eliminate the emotional reaction?
Then teach these practical skills to students. Everyone feels empowered and validated. A school-wide sense of connectedness provides a culture ripe for learning. The world would be a better place with these lessons learned.
Transform your school with a couple of simple but powerful social/emotional strategies! Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 647 881-6958.