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December 2020

A Guide to Practicing Self-Care with Mindfulness (mindful.org)

The History of Self-Care The “radical” concept of self-care was born during the civil rights era, a time when brave individuals were fighting the relentless enemies of prejudice and discrimination. These American heroes created the first real communities of care, standing strong together in the face of seemingly impossible challenges and unspeakable treatment. It can’t be lost on us that one of the concepts they were fighting for was (and remains) the basic human right to self-care. People...

Peace Begins With Me (mindful.org)

Adam Avin saw his peers hurting and wanted to help them. In this interview, the now-16-year-old talks about the innovative ways he shares mindfulness skills with other kids and teens, sowing seeds for a happier and more peaceful future. Mindful : In your TED talk you say that your grandfather introduced you to a mindful and positive approach to life. I’m curious, did he call that approach “mindfulness” or was that a word that you learned later? Adam : No, he didn’t actually use the word...

A Quiet And 'Unsettling' Pandemic Toll: Students Who've Fallen Off The Grid [NPR.org]

For American families and their children, school is more than just a building. It's a social life and a community, an athletic center and a place to get meals that aren't available at home. The pandemic has disrupted — and continues to disrupt — the lives of U.S. students in profound ways. Many kids haven't set foot in their schools since March, when most in-person schooling shut down across the country. Teachers are working tirelessly to educate their students online, but they are growing...

How Historically Responsive Literacy Can Make Learning More Relevant to Students (kqed.org)

Today’s education system resembles much of what you’d see in the early 1900s: rote memorization, a teacher speaking to dozens of pupils who must remain silent unless called upon, curriculum at scale. Coronavirus-related distance learning pushed that same operation online, and because of the severity of the crisis, educators and parents understandably yearn for getting back to normal. But for educator Gholdy Muhammad, normal hasn’t served all students well, especially in literacy education,...

The Hardest Fight to Have With Your Teen (nytimes.com)

A survey of over 1,500 teens, collected between May and July of this year by the Institute for Family Studies and the Wheatley Institution, found that, “The percentage of teens who were depressed or lonely was actually lower than in 2018, and the percentage who were unhappy or dissatisfied with life was only slightly higher.” The study’s authors suggest that the reason for the improvement in mood was that teens were sleeping more in quarantine, and also that a majority — 68 percent — said...

Rethinking Homework for This Year—and Beyond (edutopia.org)

Homework has long been the subject of intense debate, and there’s no easy answer with respect to its value. Teachers assign homework for any number of reasons: It’s traditional to do so, it makes students practice their skills and solidify learning, it offers the opportunity for formative assessment, and it creates good study habits and discipline. Then there’s the issue of pace. Throughout my career, I’ve assigned homework largely because there just isn’t enough time to get everything done...

'Every Kid is Motivated': Action-oriented Ideas to Revive Students' Curiosity (kqed.org)

If there’s one concern about distance learning that educators have during these times, it’s that students are having difficulty being motivated. A lack of motivation is perfectly understandable given the severity of the pandemic, the financial hardships and the shortcomings of video conferencing platforms. But that doesn’t necessarily mean teachers can’t prioritize motivation and curiosity, which were already suffering pre-pandemic because of the way schools often rely on tests and grades to...

Holiday Message from Doc Childre, HeartMath Institute's Founder (heartmath.org)

The holidays can magnify our care, kindness, and connection… yet they can also magnify energies of separation, like blame, chaos, and emotional instability. It’s helpful to make heart-firm commitments to add compassion, kindness, patience, and latitude as we interact with others and with ourselves. Practicing these heart qualities during the holiday period (or any time) can prevent much stress and lift our spirit for increased clarity, discernment, and intuitive guidance for our highest...

A resource for teachers during unprecedented times

Following Gov. Ige's furlough announcement for all state employees beginning in January 2021, I can't imagine how this must have impacted our public school educators Stress and anxiety have been experienced by all during COVID-19 and all educators (early education to higher learning) have not be spared. This is an excellent article that sheds some light on the anxiety that teachers are facing and some potential pragmatic strategies to help mitigate the effects of stress during these...

Relationships with Caring Adults and Social and Emotional Strengths Are Related to High School Academic Achievement [childtrends.org]

By Vanessa Sacks, Rebecca M. Jones, and Hannah Rackers, et al., Child Trends, December 15, 2020 youthCONNECT is an integrated student supports initiative, developed by Venture Philanthropy Partners (VPP), that is being implemented in Prince George’s County, Maryland, in partnership with the Prince George’s County government and Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS). At Suitland High School, the youthCONNECT theory of change posits that providing college and career preparation...

School 'wellness centers' could be an answer to soaring mental health needs in California [edsource.org]

By Carolyn Jones, EdSource, December 9, 2020 Responding to a surge in student anxiety and depression — exacerbated by the pandemic — a state commission has called for California schools to move quickly to become “wellness centers” addressing mental and physical health needs among K-12 students and their families. Through agreements with nonprofits and government health agencies, schools would offer psychological services, basic medical care and other services to help families navigate trauma...

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