There is something about Saturday mornings that gets me so giddy. I think it is the opportunity to sit down with my coffee, refreshed on sleep so that I have the ability to think clearly and reflect.
I have been engaged in a sort of “passion project” of my own these days. It started as just doing what I do in my classroom, and that is getting to know my students. As a huge advocate of Student Voice, I ask input on a consistent basis regarding lessons, methods, efficiency in workflow, choice of lesson design, seating choices, music for background, etc. As I began doing this with my seventh-graders this year, I noticed that much of what I was needing to know was centered on the social and emotional wellbeing of the child. The Whole Child. The Adolescent Whole Child, which is another whole ballgame.
I thought, hmmm…I might look into this further. The reason is simple. Academics are important. We know students learn more and best when they feel like they have a relationship with the teacher. We know relationships are built intentionally and take time and effort. We also know that even if you spend the time and effort, building relationships will not happen if we are not super aware of the social and emotional needs of our children that directly affect behavior. So, in my opinion, this is where it all starts.
If I am going to reflect and go through this journey of really digging into the behavioral aspect of Student Voice in the classroom, I want to reflect about it through writing a series of posts. Hopefully, this will spark conversations about the social and emotional behaviors and how important they are to teaching and modeling these for our children. If we all share what we know is best, we learn more and we all benefit! Hope you will share your thoughts with me.