Chapter 2 Resources
Use these activities to nurture your skills. Even better - gather with your team to embed these skills in your work and empower your students to become heroes that change their world.
● What calms you? Take time to reflect on the events, environments, or experiences that help diminish your stress. Remember to keep these things going so you can remain calm when your students, or staff members, are escalating.
● Ask your staff members to do what we just asked you in the first bullet. Dedicate part of a faculty meeting to give permission for your teachers and staff to spend time in the things that will keep them calm, patient, and excited to keep working in stressful situations with kids who bring traumatic situations with them in their invisible backpacks.
● Slow down and take time to see. We don’t need actual X-ray vision, we just need to slow down enough to pay attention to what’s right in front of us. Take a notepad, notebook, or tablet (digital or analog) and sit in a gathering place in your school. Spend five or ten minutes just observing and writing down some of the things you see. Get past the physical setting and pay attention to what you see in the relationships that take place in front of you. Better yet, take note of what you don’t see happening that you hope will become a part of your school’s culture and climate.
Have your students take the My Teacher Survey for Students (Figure 2.1). Gather the results so your teachers can reflect on the findings. Finally, bring your team together to discuss how you can help students get connected to a caring adult in your school.
“One experience many of us recall, from when we were high school students ourselves, is developing the art of becoming invisible. It is possible to appear slightly attentive, while avoiding direct eye gaze, avoiding excessive movement, shrinking slightly into the seat rather than sitting upright, or using bluffing tactics such as pretending to be reading or writing.” (Hattie & Yates, 2014 p.47). Whether you teach kindergarten students, lead a building, or direct an entire district, we implore you build relationships with those you lead and teach. Don’t allow students, teachers, aides, secretaries, custodians, lunch staff, or anyone else in your care to “slip away”. Engage and connect with every human being in your school or system so we can be heroes, and build heroes.
Hattie, J., & Yates, G., (2014). Visible learning and the science of how we learn. Routledge:London. Available at Corwin Press.