According to an article titled “Social and Emotional Learning and the Start of School” by Maurice Elias featured on the Edutopia website (Sept. 1, 2010), the most important consideration at the start of the new school year is to create positive feelings and optimism about school. They list seven ways to help create a positive school environment.
We want to share six of these points that pertain to the way teachers at IST work with students. (Point number six explains what parents can do).
Make a special effort to greet children in a positive and uplifting way at the start of school.
Highlight all the good and exciting things that will be happening at the beginning of the school year, as well as throughout the year.
Give students a chance to share good memories about the summer, what they are looking forward to for the new school year, and something about themselves that they would like classmates to know.
Allow students to have input into setting the rules for the classroom, in terms of both “do’s” and “don’ts.”
Give students an opportunity each day to reflect on what they are learning.
Teachers [counselors] and parents! We invite you to share your comments on what the school is doing around social-emotional and character development, health, and such key areas as prevention of harassment, intimidation, and bullying.
Creating such a positive environment helps students (and teachers) to feel engaged, empowered and appreciated.
We appreciate the team effort!!
Micheline and Kate
IST Elementary Counselors