Image of amygdala
Amygdala, what is it and how does it react to stress?
Hurricanes are stressful!  Preparing for hurricanes is stressful!  That’s what I did this past week and it got me to thinking about my amygdala and how it affects my actions and reactions in stressful situations. So, what is the amygdala? The amygdala is the emotional center of our brains.  It’s a small almond shaped organ […]
What do you call SEL skills? Does it really matter?
Lots of people are talking about social and emotional learning (SEL) these days.  Is it something new?  Nope!  Has it been called other things?  Sure!  How about Character Building or Growth Mindset or Soft Skills or 21st Century Skills?  Just a few of the descriptive terms used by Anya Kamenetz’s, lead education blogger for NPR. […]
Teachers are Miracle Workers!
Teachers are miracle workers in my book! Teachers are some of my favorite people ever!  My admiration for them is immense. Think about it.  Elementary teachers have a class of students that they spend the entire day with through thick and thin.  It’s like being a parent to 25-30 children AND getting them to accomplish […]
Gang members have leadership skills, do you agree?
An article I recently read titled A New Recipe for School Design by Cesar A. Cruz, caught my eye for a couple of reasons.   First, I am always interested in outside the box ways to educate youth.  Second, this sentence, ”What if when we caught a young man selling drugs at school, instead of sending […]
Emotion Characters
Emotions – looking at yourself from the inside out!
Emotions drive behavior…it is as simple as that!  Our “insides” influence what happens on the outside!  Our brains are flexible but contain some hard-wiring for emotions.  Regulating your emotions is necessary so that you can be focused, remember, and connect all the new information that we already know.  If your brain is continually in a […]
SEL isn’t just a feel good idea, its science!
I am excited and encouraged by the work I do!  You may wonder, why?  I love that there is brain science that shows that our brains can grow and change.  It’s called neuroplasticity.  Haven’t heard of neuroplasticity?  It’s a big word, but easy to understand in the video! SEL and Neuroplasticity Neuroplasticity means that social […]
Definition of Empathy
Empathy isn’t always as easy as you think!
Empathy seems like a relatively simple concept and talked about a lot in the world of social and emotional learning these days.  If we create empathy, we create connection, and connection supports healthy relationships. In its simplest form, just “put yourself in someone else’s shoes” and you can understand how they might feel in that […]
SEL is ESSENTIAL for Middle School Teachers and Students Too!
I’ve always admired middle school teachers.  I wouldn’t want their job!  They have quite the challenge on their hands when it comes to getting students to learn!  Students in middle school are going through many biological changes. That means the distraction of hormones, awkwardness and everyone in a variety of stages of growth.  Middle schoolers […]
Parent modeling SEL = Children learning SEL
As a parent of grown children, quite often, I fondly think back to when they were small children.  Boy, they grew up fast!  Sometimes, I am super proud of how I parented and at other times, I wish that I had done things a bit differently. I did the best I could with the skills […]
Teacher Stress and SEL
It isn’t really an issue that needs to be debated.  It’s a fact that teachers are a significant influence in the lives of children and play a huge role in shaping them in to adults.  Not only do they teach them to read, how to add, subtract, multiply, and divide, history and science but they […]