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What's Happening In Your Neighborhood?

Last week my family and I went to see the new movie, “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood”. It is a tale based on true life events of how a cynical journalist develops a friendship with children’s television icon Fred Rogers. If you check it out bring tissues :)

Mr. Rogers was a beloved TV personality who invited his young viewers into his “neighborhood” for 895 episodes to talk about what goes on inside of us. He trusted that when children felt invested in by adults they could learn the lessons they needed and apply them in their lives.

The genius of Fred Rogers is that he met his young viewers right where they were. He had three simple rules: 

1. Be Kind

2. Be Kind

3. Be Kind

He used his show to convey that they were worthwhile, special and could share whatever they were going through. When he told them all feelings were mentionable and manageable, he was handing them the keys to their own social and emotional learning.

Now, this can be a...

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Building Social-Emotional Intelligence

Much is made in educational circles these days about social-emotional learning and intelligence (SEL). Schools everywhere are scrambling to address the social and emotional needs of youth, developing and implementing curriculums, and creating policies. The workplace is also getting on board as more and more businesses are realizing that the key to a successfully run organization is having employees who can solve problems independently and possess solid interpersonal skills.

I think schools, however, get a bad rap. Increasingly, they are asked to do more with less. Everyone wants our students to achieve their full potential.  Educators are faced with the awesome and daunting task of providing learners with the skills for success. There is a lot of emphasis on what we need to teach but very little on how to do it. How do you engage, inspire and lead students through the maze of stuff that is thrown at them and help them make sense of it? How do you help them retain what is...

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