Christa Tinari works with kids at The Providence Center.

Lessons in Empathy

Three years ago, when Providence Center was rethinking its after school program they turned to community leaders to determine what the children needed: it was help coping with the brutal circumstances of living in Philly’s highest-poverty and most murderous neighborhood. So Providence Center hired Christa Tinari’s PeacePraxis, which brings research-based social emotional learning (SEL) programs into schools. Now, afternoons at the school revolve around a curriculum that teaches children skills of resiliency, conflict resolution, empathy, and self-awareness. Those skills, in turn, have helped students become more attentive and interact better with their peers and teachers in class—and beyond.

Image courtesy of the Center for Healthy Minds

What if Schools Taught Kindness?

Laura Pinger & Lisa Flook ask the question: why teach kindness to kids? The school environment can be very stressful; in addition to any issues they bring from home, many students struggle to make friends and perform well in class. Being excluded, ignored, or teased is very painful for a young child, and we thought it could be impactful to teach empathy and compassion. When other kids are suffering can we understand how they might be feeling? Kindness bridges those gaps and helps build a sense of connection among the students, the teachers, and even the parents. Learning to strengthen their attention and regulate their emotions are foundational skills that could benefit kids in school and throughout their whole lives.

This article from Teaching Tolerance observes that it’s not unusual for educators to shy away from difficult topics and provides strategies for building teacher's confidence. (Illustration by Kyle Stecker)

Begin Within

This article from Teaching Tolerance observes that it’s not unusual for educators to shy away from topics like police violence, economic inequality, mass incarceration and white privilege. Some feel unprepared; others feel too emotionally involved. Use these strategies to build the confidence and fortitude necessary to facilitate conversations your students need to have.

Managing Director: One Common Unity

One Common Unity is a non-profit organization that inspires personal growth and nurtures sustainable, caring communities through social-emotional learning services and arts empowerment programming. The Managing Director’s role is to provide operational and programmatic support to further One Common Unity’s mission. Reporting to and working closely with the Executive Director, the Managing Director will oversee operations, programs, planning, and support the integration of the work of the organization into a cohesive whole.

Vive la Educación y la estrategia RESPIRA

Save the Children, a través del proyecto Vive la Educación y la estrategia Respira, mejora el bienestar y la atención plena en ocho instituciones educativas del sur-occidente de Colombia. Casi 4000 docentes y estudiantes mejoran su atención y bienestar en zonas afectadas por el conflicto armado en el sur-occidente de Colombia desde 2013. Gracias al financiamiento de la Embajada de Canadá y la estrategia RESPIRA, ocho escuelas rurales y urbanas de Cauca y Nariño trabajan la convivencia pacífica y la resiliencia personal.

Andre Tippet ,Executive Director of Community Relations for the New England Patriots, and a former player,speaks during an announcement at Central High about a Anti Violence Partnership between the team and the State. Springfield Mayor Domenic J. Sarno and student Anthony Owens and Emlie Rodriguez, rigth a para at the school look on. (Photo: Mark M. Murray / The Republican)

NFL Hall of Famer urges high school students to take stand against violence

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey and former New England Patriots linebacker and NFL Hall of Famer Andre Tippett told Central High School students on Thursday that football players and other school athletes can help lead the way in preventing violence. Healey and Tippet visited Central to promote “Game-Change: The Patriots Anti-Violence Partnership,” a new initiative of the AG’s office and the New England Patriots aimed at providing students with the tools to combat a culture of violence that has crept into American society.

A girl studies on a computer at the shelter where she lives in Los Angeles.

The Limitations of Teaching ‘Grit’ in the Classroom

(Original article: Aisha Sultan, The Atlantic, Dec. 2, 2015) The first time I heard a preschooler explaining a classmate’s disruptive behavior, I was surprised at how adult her 4-year-old voice sounded. Her classmate “doesn’t know how to sit still and listen,” she said to me, while I sat at the snack table with them. He […]

Illustration by Justine Beckett

Healing From Moral Injury

(Original article: Lauren Porosoff, Teaching Tolerance Magazine No. 51, Fall 2015) By seventh grade, Jerome had a reputation: weak performance on assessments, inconsistent homework, frequent need for redirection in class, inappropriate comments at school and online, physical fighting.  But I saw a different Jerome. In English class, Jerome was always raising his hand to read […]

‘Some worry that a sort of ‘McMindfulness’ is taking over which ignores the foundations of the meditative practices from which mindfulness emerged.’ Photograph: Alamy

Mindfulness has huge health potential – but McMindfulness is no panacea

Original article: Jon Kabat-Zinn, TheGuardian.com)   Mindfulness is rapidly becoming a global phenomenon, supported by increasingly rigorous scientific research, and driven in part by a longing for new practices that might help us to better apprehend and solve the challenges that threaten our health. This week a landmark British report will lay out recommendations for […]

Educating the heart: Prem Rawat addresses students in Indonesia, Malaysia

(Original article: PRNewswire)  LOS ANGELES, Oct. 20, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Prem Rawat’s ongoing tour of the Asia Pacific region included recent visits to Indonesia and Malaysia where he delivered an uplifting message to university students who are enrolled in the Peace Education Program (PEP). A flagship initiative of The Prem Rawat Foundation, PEP is an innovative program […]

Teaching Social Skills to Improve Grades and Lives

(Original article: David Bornstein, NY Times – July 24, 2015) In the early 1990s, about 50 kindergarten teachers were asked to rate the social and communication skills of 753 children in their classrooms. It was part of the Fast Track Project, an intervention and study administered in Durham, N.C., Nashville, Seattle and central Pennsylvania. The […]