TURNING BARRIERS INTO OPPORTUNITIES
SELTA: Social Emotional Learning that Targets Achievement
Public Schools are failing -
Reality or Myth?
How about both? It's time to shift the paradigm. We've been thinking about this all wrong. The increase in responsibilities on teaching staff and students without regard to the mental health or baseline happiness has taken a toll on the system as a whole. In an increasingly competitive and globalized market, the standards for success have risen but no tools have been provided to achieve that success. We are capable of doing the work, it's the approach that needs to be adjusted. That's where the SELTA program comes in.
High School students are society's most underutilized resource.
We have the resources, the talent, and endless motivation to make the world around us better. We have an opportunity in front of us, a chance to give the next generation the tools to navigate challenges, to embrace failure, and to believe they can achieve beyond their wildest dreams by accepting a growth mindset instead The old "we are creating tomorrow's leaders" adage isn't working anymore. The best part? The students desperately want to feel connected to something bigger than themselves. These kids are wired for connection and community, and it is up to us to hone their talents in a way that will truly give back to the greater good. Here, they will develop the ability to believe in themselves, embrace personal challenges, understand themselves and others better, and to cope with difficult and stressful situations. As teachers and parents, we can't protect them from the tough stuff, but we can arm them with the tools to navigate life's challenges.
Addressing the interests of every student
From Kindergarten through Senior Year
One of the biggest barriers public schools face is student engagement. They feel like they are held in an institution against their will, at the insistence that the process is for their own good. They have to ask to use the bathroom for Pete's sake. We've been there and we know the feeling! If they are lucky enough to find an academic passion, success at a sport, or a club that inspires them they start to experience true engagement.
Unfortunately, we lack the time and resources to reach out to each student to develop programs that reflect their interests.
The good news is that it doesn't have to be this way.
Data shows the risk of a student dropping out of high school drops 50% if they are involved in one activity and if they are involved in two that risk drops to 0%. Additionally, grades improve alongside test scores and attendance is no longer a problem.
We can do this for our students. Every. Single. One. From Kindergarten through Senior year. We just need to meet them where they are.
SELTA develops programs that increase student engagement based on the culture of your school. Students are able to find the "best fit" for them, instead of trying to fit in to what is best for someone else.
Click Student for X=student activities video
SELTA: An integrated Social Emotional approach to education.
An effort in "doing the right thing" and developing a Growth Mindset
“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” – Thomas Edison
Our students are struggling on multiple levels, what we do with that struggle will help to change the course of society and the role of public schools. Our kids are over-loaded, stressed, and connect their future and their self-image to a GPA or a letter grade regardless of whether that grade is high or low. They fear the struggle. What they need to learn is that the struggle is where we grow, gain strength, and build confidence. The journey is important, and unless they are taught that they are too willing to accept mediocrity or give up when they don't immediately find success. We can be that change. We can help them see that success achievable if they are willing to give themselves a chance...this applies to the high achieving students as much as it applies to the students who struggle academically.
so·cial cap·i·tal- the networks of relationships among people who live and work in a particular society, enabling that society to function effectively
We are wired for connection. Our brains develop in an effort to form relationships and we surround ourselves with people who support us and make us feel safe. As students grow, the risk of social acceptance becomes greater; a driving force in their decision-making process both socially and academically. They bully, ostracize, and put others down in order to achieve safety and security. What they haven't been taught is the reality of spontaneous trait transference. By excluding people and ostracizing others they open themselves up to the possibility of similar circumstances. These bonds don't tighten friendships, they break them apart. The curriculum P.S. Outreach has designed teaches students the skill set and realistic methods for dealing with exclusionary behaviors by friends and acquaintances. The answer to the bullying problem lies within helping students handle situations they are faced with day-to-day and to develop a sense of empathy and confidence.
INNOVATION and AUTHENTICITY
Utilizing our Talent and Resources
Understanding the culture of each community and designing a program that fits.
Closing the Readiness Gap
Preparing our students with the capacity for growth and problem solving.
High Schools are a part of the community center. As a beneficiary of the community, we need to "give back" to the larger organization that keeps us running. We have a responsibility to support the citizens that support us beyond the old adage of "a good public education system benefits everyone" even though the premise is true.
We are on the precipice of great change. Our students want to serve the community, they actively look for opportunities to help and volunteer through youth groups and after school clubs. They participate in food drives and gift drives. They are our nation's largest untapped resource, and society hasn't given them enough credit. They deserve a program that helps regularly assist in contributing to the greater good. Isn't that the goal of public schools? To build our citizens both socially and academically?
We have the talent and the opportunity. We have the energy. It's time we give this gift back to the community with tangible and visible outcomes so they know the schools support them as much as they support us. We can bring the strength of community and the eagerness to serve together to create great change.
The key is to take the identity of that district and community and build upon the pillars of tradition that give them a sense of pride. The elements of community that define what it means to be a "Viking" and take that identity and let it reach all citizens of the community through active communication and assistance. It's time to return the favor.
Schools are an arena of curriculum, and the programs that help to prepare students for life outside of the classroom should focus around the Common Core attempt to close the readiness gap we are currently experiencing. Students are academically prepared, but they struggle with soft skills and real-world problem solving capabilities. If Michigan schools believe that Top 10 in 10 is a reality, there needs to be a focus on Social Emotional Education.
We need to stop prioritizing eligibility over readiness.
Using the SEL curriculum applied to instructional leadership will prepare our students, K-12, for an ever shifting economic conditions, globalization, and technological advancements society is currently experiencing. Eighty percent of administrators and executives interviewed through the 2011 preparedness survey report that applicants lack the problem-solving, character building, and relationship skills needed in the ever changing workplace. They need to work with more self-trust and less implicit direction, the confidence to know they can complete a task they haven't attempted before. Adopting a program like HS Outreach will give them opportunities to know they can problem solve due to experience in addition to standard academic testing.
HS Outreach will be a multi-tier support program where stakeholders (Students, Teachers, Community, Businesses) all design the outcome of mutual benefits.
The program will make us innovators.