Top 20 Blog

A series of Top 20-related articles from Principal Rathke

Bite-Sized Mindfulness

Mindfulness techniques can reduce stress, improve school performance, and help kids manage their behavior and emotions. Check out this video to see how easily these short, kid-friendly exercises can be used by anyone, in a variety of settings.

Why Mindfulness is a Superpower

Practicing mindfulness is one of the single most powerful things you can do for your well-being. Check out this video to learn why.

The Value of Social Emotional Learning

Trish Shaffer is the Coordinator for Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) for the Washoe County School District (WCSD) in Nevada. In this TED Talk video, she discusses the practice and value of social and emotional learning.

What Is SEL?

Social-emotional learning (SEL) is the process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.

Check out this video to see the creators of the Second Step program show what social-emotional skills are and the important role they play throughout our lives.

Mistakes

The purpose of mistakes is to learn a lesson. We treat mistakes as teachers. We take responsibility for our mistakes and learn the lessons life is trying to teach us.

The Power of Talk

I am currently reading the book “Reclaiming Conversations: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age,” by Sherry Turkle. Here’s an excerpt that resonated with me:

“It is not enough to ask your children to put away their phones. You have to model this behavior and put away your phone. If children don't learn to listen, to stand up for themselves and negotiate with others in classrooms or at family dinners, when will they learn the give and take that is necessary for good relationships or, for that matter, for the debate of citizens in a democracy? Reclaiming conversation begins with the acknowledgement that speaking and listening with attention are skills. They can be taught. They take practice and that practice can start now. In your home, in the classroom and at your job.”

Comfort Zones

Let’s go outside our comfort zones today. Today, raise your hand in class. Participate in discussions, share your answers and ideas—even if they’re “out there.” Remember: big learning happens outside your comfort zone.

Social Emotional Learning Vision Statement

At Justice Page School, students and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.

Creating a Culture of Learning

We want to be problem solvers, not problem namers. We can announce, "there is trash on the floor!" or we can help by picking up the trash and throwing it away. Cleaning up the mess makes us problem solvers.

Listening

The challenge I have for each of you today is to focus on listening. Listening is hard sometimes. You might get distracted by noises in the hall or other things in your room. Or maybe you let your mind wander and think about other things. If you get distracted or have life on your mind, gently tap your head and whisper "Not Now" to yourself. Then refocus on what you need to learn.

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