Intentionally introducing humor, curiosity, enthusiasm, and optimism into each class is a low-tech, high-impact method to build resilience and attention. Stephanie Farley shares ways she’s engaged middle schoolers with elements like (live!) rolling mice and kid-made symbols.
The life skills students learn in our classes prepare them to thrive in the real world. Middle grades teacher Laleh Ghotbi shares some lessons from her effort to use weekly community-building circles in her classroom to help students learn to respect their differences and focus on common values.
Compassionate discipline calls us to action, writes SEL & the Brain expert Marilee Sprenger – actions much different from our usual vision of discipline. Showing compassion and managing our behavior can help our students recognize their own emotions and regulate themselves.
Many school problems are social at their core. When teachers and counselors give students a leadership role in normalizing the problems – making them accessible and resolvable – the community culture improves for everyone, says national counseling leader Jean Peterson.
We Belong by Laurie Barron and Patti Kinney offers a community-forward approach to classroom management that promotes a culture in which schools become “places where [students] can discover who they are and who they want to become” through the year, writes Michael McLaughlin.
As educators seek to return to a safer and more predictable learning environment, Barron and Kinney’s We Belong can be a valuable easy-to-use classroom management resource for teachers wanting to connect with their students so they thrive both academically and emotionally.
Reflective and restorative practices are not new, writes middle school administrator Sara Johnson, but the pandemic has created an even greater need to view discipline as a tool to guide and support the social-emotional learning of tweens and teens. Here’s how Sara does it.
Is there a price students must pay to earn a teacher’s respect? The posters in Dina Strasser’s classroom and school seem to frame “respect” as a transaction. Given the power and skill imbalance that exists between student and teacher, can that possibly be good practice?
With unprecedented levels of stress among adolescents, and promising new research from leading institutions, there’s never been a better or more crucial time to implement mindfulness practices into middle school classrooms, says author-consultant Dr. Thomas Armstrong.
How do teachers’ assumptions about what students know impede the learning process? Michelle Russell is realizing the “obvious” is sometimes not so obvious to kids in her math classes. Her two big problem areas: basic rules of behavior and prior knowledge of operations.