SSA had a significant impact on my development in middle and high school back in my hometown, and I know that my fellow ambassadors and peers were affected in the same manner.
Mobile devices, online chat, gaming, and social media have all contributed to making private spaces more public. It is difficult to know who children are communicating with, when, and how in a world of computers, consoles, and smartphones. But online safety for children goes beyond digital stranger danger and cyber-bullying.
You sacrifice so much for the good of your students and the promise of a brighter future for them and this world. If that isn’t a hero, I don’t know what is.
Since March of 2020 when the term “Chinese Virus” was first mentioned by the most powerful man in the world, there has been an uptick in crime against the Asian American/Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. Attention wasn’t really drawn to this problem until six Asian women were killed in a mass shooting in Atlanta and an extremely brave elderly woman in San Francisco fought against her attacker and won. Then the protests and vigils and talks started. But why did it take so long to have the conversation?
Most of us have experienced being hijacked from our best self and we also know how to bring ourselves back into balance—to center. But it takes practice and skill to do it well. The good news is we are all resilient when we tap into the magic inside us.
A sense of belonging is a strong connection to family, community/neighborhood, and school. Our youngest citizens, that walk in and out of school doors every day, are truly seeking the gifts adults have to offer. If the invitation is genuine and meaningful, then the student gift in return is authenticity of self and community.
Students across our country are struggling in the upside down COVID-19 world. It is difficult, if not impossible, for them to focus and to process academic information with brains that are anxious, stressed and distracted. If we want students to pass tests and maintain their academic achievements, we need to double down on efforts to create a positive school climate and address the emotional welfare of the students in our care.
When I began training with the Safe School Ambassadors® Program almost five years ago, I knew it was the solution to positively change school climate on campuses. What I didn’t realize, however, was that Safe School Ambassadors not only changes school climate, it changes lives.
As educational leaders meet to address the growing number of students experiencing anxiety and failing grades, one thing is clear; we cannot expect students to thrive in academics when their social emotional needs are not being met. Research has shown that until students feel safe and connected to a caring school community, learning and academic achievement is compromised.
From helping them understand their emotions to setting the right goals and showing empathy to others, as a parent, you want your child to be equipped with the necessary social and emotional skills through social-emotional learning (SEL). And to ensure that your child develops them, it's important to remember that learning always starts at home.