May 27th, 2020

Honoring the Journey

Many of the students we serve would benefit from SEL online meetings, outside of discussing schoolwork. They need a space to process and a space to renew their hope. In survival mode, it feels like one more obligation to them. The affects of poverty are stronger than ever and our high school students are often providing for the financial needs of the family. SEL is not always possible during the traditional work day. Our students need to hear positive messaging from us, they soak it up!

We are a small learning community, and it helps that teachers are partnering in teaching online, when a student is not present, the partner teacher calls the student immediately. We attempt to ensure that we are stronger together and that every single student matters. They are not invisible.

Tags: Climate and culture, community building, connection, Integrating SEL into academics, student-centered

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Comments (1)

Comments (1)

Unfortunately, I'm currently working in a massive learning community (2,300+ students total; 150+ on my roster) . The ability to immediately call & check in w/ an absent student sounds so simple & wise - and is something I simply do not have the ability to do. I came from a small learning community environment, a K-8 Charter Waldorf Methods school in the Sacramento area, but could only get part-time salary there & needed to earn full time wages.

I miss being able to ACTUALLY teach all of my students. I miss having a smaller community where relationships always come first, then the teaching is layered onto that foundation. I miss the support of a faculty whose leaders ensured that we could debrief weekly on not just curricular concerns, but we could express emotional concerns, personal "big events" in our lives, etc. The amount of relationship-building we did as a staff was admirable. Although this imperative to look closely & honestly at oneself in front of colleagues is tough, it supported my teaching deeply & allowed me to truly be the best teacher I could be.

We must find ways to cultivate smaller learning communities within the massive public schools...

We shouldn't have to choose between a viable job w/ all the supports in place to help us stay vibrant (read: NOT burnt out) and also a job where we are paid enough to live fully compensated (salary, benefits, bonuses, etc)

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