Helping Students Help Themselves
A social-emotional learning approach to school discipline (EWA Radio: Episode 168)
What would happen if teachers had the flexibility to handle classroom discipline issues on a case-by-case basis, rather than following top-down mandates from the district or the principal’s office? Writing for The Atlantic, Katherine Reynolds Lewis visited Ohio Avenue Elementary School in Columbus, where an effort to rethink approaches to bad behavior is paying big dividends. Teachers receive intensive training in how to recognize, and respond to, signs of trauma-related stress in their students. The focus is on helping kids manage their own emotions and responses to challenging situations. What does the research show about the impact of toxic stress on student learning? How does the principal’s leadership, and outside support from community agencies, fit into this formula? And what story ideas does Lewis — an EWA Reporting Fellow — have for local reporters covering student discipline in their communities?