How to Prevent Your Students From Spiraling

When our students struggle with self worth and resilience, any setback can become a downward spiral. An incident that doesn’t go their way becomes the truth of their lives. If a friend can’t come over, that generalizes into, “No one likes me” or “I can never count on friends.”  Wow. That’s a heavy thought to […]

How to Teach Students Empathy

Empathy can be taught. The opportunity to imagine what life is like for someone facing difficult challenges, activates the compassion response. By conjuring up the image of someone your students already care about and basking in the feeling of that glow, your students can then be encouraged to share that sentiment with people who are […]

The Magic of Conversation Circles

Circles promote belonging. They have no beginning and no end. Everyone is visible. No one has their back to you. Everyone can be seen. You belong to the circle community. You can voice your truth or be silent. Being seen and belonging to the group are the two things our students really want. So how […]

Teaching Students to Co-Create

Good boundaries are essential for healthy relationships. Being empowered to say “no” is an effective boundary tool and deterrent to bad behavior.  When working in groups, saying “yes” builds a bridge to co-creating. Saying “yes” means you’re open to what the other kids have to say. Some of our students have trouble saying yes and […]

How to Teach Your Students Not to Jump to Conclusions

To the complete horror of the little girl and her grandma watching, a man picks up a blackish, four inch substance lying on the ground near his dog’s butt and happily takes a bite. The man looks up at them, smiles with a huge dark chunk visible between his teeth, and quickly registers their disgust. […]

3 Tips to Help Students Use Their Imaginations

Imagination is your bridge to the unseen, the unknown, the infinite possibilities in the field of dreams. Through our imagination we conjure up future scenarios (intentions/goals/desires), make meaning out of our current situation (drawing from prior knowledge), re-vision our past (review/analyze/adjust), and picture ourselves in other’s shoes (empathy). Wow! We can help our students to […]

How Improv Helps Students Learn Social Cues

I was totally unaware of how many social cues and clues I was missing until I started studying improv. So how did improv change all that for me? And most importantly, how can improv improve the quality of your students’ awareness of social clues? They learn to pay attention. Improv games and exercises are entertaining […]

How an “All or Nothing” Attitude Brings You Down and What To Do About it

After an especially trying SocialEyes Together® SEL group, discouraged by our students’ insufficient progress, I dumped my frustration on my co-leader, Jean. Emily had spent 45 minutes intermittently spewing negativity like a surprise hailstorm and Reggie was a master at that stealth distraction executed below adult radar detection that is the bane of every teacher’s […]

Breathing Fingers: A Mindfulness Exercise for Students

Being a teacher is tough. You bring together 10, 20, sometimes 30 humans into a classroom and are expected to teach them valuable lessons and watch out for them. What makes this especially tricky is that each of these human beings each come with their own personalities, their own abilities, their own stories and experiences, […]