8 07, 2014

The Mindful Path – A Mindfulness Program and SEL

2021-05-20T17:42:49-04:00July 8th, 2014|Tags: , , , |

Hello from guest blogger, Lisa Robinson!  This week is my second one in the program presented in “Mindfulness: An Eight-Week Plan for Finding Peace in a Frantic World” by Mark Williams and Danny Penman.  I’m repeating the first week in the 8-week program because I lost my momentum during the July 4th holiday weekend.  I want to spend more time with the week one content and really incorporate it into my everyday experience. I want to share with you a wonderful meditation from the program that I’m doing twice each day, the Mindfulness of the Body and Breath meditation.  It’s a great start and end to my day, and helps me stay focused on the present.  Here’s a link so you can experience it, too: Mindfulness Meditation  What about Social and Emotional Learning? Mindfulness takes us back to social and emotional learning, or SEL.  In her work through The Hawn Foundation, Goldie Hawn (yes, the famous actor and celebrity) has collaborated with Scholastic to offer the MindUP curriculum for children. In the book, “The MindUp Curriculum: Brain-Focused Strategies for Learning – and Living (Grades 6 – 8), one of the lessons has to do with mindful awareness.  Other curriculum guides are available for Grades Pre-K – 2 and for Grades 3 - 5.  Students learn how to use the concept of what is mindful and unmindful to understand their own thoughts and take appropriate actions.  They find out about the

24 06, 2014

The Mindful Path – Improving SEL Competency

2021-05-20T17:42:50-04:00June 24th, 2014|Tags: , , |

Hello again from guest blogger, Lisa Robinson!  This post is a continuation from last week, and we’ll be exploring how to improve our abilities in the Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) competencies as characterized by CASEL at www.casel.org .  In this post, we’ll cover Social Awareness, Relationship Skills, and Responsible Decision-Making.   This discussion will focus on how adults (teachers, parents, others) can improve their own SEL competencies.  It’s important for us to begin by understanding the level of our own competencies, and take intentional action to make improvements.  We can use this personal experience to most effectively support children and adults who could benefit from enhancing their SEL competency. Social Awareness In this competency, you can understand the perspective of others and empathize with them, even when they are different from you.  You can apply this to get along with others and encourage mutual collaboration. Improvement in this competency starts with demonstrating a genuine interest in others.  Pay careful attention to other people’s facial expressions, body language, and tone of voice.  Can you connect what you observe to how others are feeling?  Observation is a great place to start improving in this competency.  Although this is not second nature for everyone, it can be learned.  You may find it very helpful to ask someone you know well and trust to provide you with feedback.   Observe the other person and then share the emotions you think that their behavior is

17 06, 2014

The Mindful Path – Improving Competency in Social and Emotional Learning

2021-05-20T17:42:51-04:00June 17th, 2014|Tags: , , , , |

Hello again from guest blogger, Lisa Robinson!  Let’s explore how to improve our abilities in the Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) competencies as characterized by CASEL at www.casel.org .  In this post, we’ll cover Self-Awareness and Self-Management.  (Next week’s post will cover the remaining three competencies). This discussion will focus on how adults (teachers, parents, others) can improve their own SEL competencies.  It’s important for us to begin by understanding where we have strengths and opportunities, and then take intentional action to make improvements.  We can use this personal experience to most effectively support others who will benefit from enhancing their SEL competency. Self-Awareness In this competency, you accept responsibility for your own emotions and thoughts, and understand their influence on behavior.   If you are skilled in this competency, you demonstrate knowledge of your own strengths, weaknesses, and personal preferences.  You express your emotions skillfully and appropriately. However, if you’ve ever been surprised by how you behaved in reaction to something or felt as if you were out of control, it doesn’t mean that you’re unable to make positive changes.  The key is in understanding what drives your behavior and then making a conscious choice instead of simply reacting. To improve on your self-awareness, mindfulness can be a great tool.  Meditation, following your breathing, and exercising are just a few options that can help you to focus on the present and become more grounded.  Taking time to reflect on what

3 06, 2014

The Mindful Path: SEL Enhances Student Success

2021-05-20T17:42:52-04:00June 3rd, 2014|Tags: , |

Hello again from guest blogger, Lisa Robinson!  This week, let’s talk more about Social and Emotional Learning, or SEL.  Implementation of SEL programs in various schools has helped students to better manage themselves and how they interact with others, increasing their ability to learn more effectively in school and to be more successful in life.  I don’t think it’s possible to be too enthusiastic about this. One organization, Committee for Children, is a nonprofit working globally to promote social and academic success.  They’ve produced a couple of excellent videos about their work in Chicago, and in Austin, TX.  Click on the links below to view the two videos: Chicago: Pioneers in Social-Emotional Learning Austin ISD: A District Embracing SEL Here is a link to resources that Committee for Children has available for parents and caregivers who want to support SEL in their children:  Resources What can you do if your children aren’t in Chicago or Austin?   In greater Indianapolis, the Peace Learning Center makes a difference through their work with children/area schools and with their involvement in the community.  You can find out more on this site by clicking on “What We Do” or by using “Contact Us" to ask any questions you may have. Where can you find out about additional resources that parents or teachers may find helpful? For young children from birth through age five, many comprehensive resources are available at the Center on the Social

20 05, 2014

The Mindful Path – Start with Empathy

2021-05-20T17:42:54-04:00May 20th, 2014|Tags: , , , |

Hello from guest blogger, Lisa Robinson!  In this Mindful Path post, let’s explore empathy.   Through empathy, we walk in another person's shoes to gain understanding of their feelings and perceptions.  But that’s just the beginning. The video, “What is Empathy? Q & A with Dr. Susan Stillman” provides more details to further explain empathy.  Click on this link to view it:  https://youtu.be/NYnnZ5X4ydA Ashoka is an organization dedicated to supporting social entrepreneurs around the world.  They found that for someone to be an effective problem-solver, team player, and leader, a central ingredient is empathy.  To enable the development of empathy skills that can be sustained, they have created an Empathy Initiative.  It serves as a collaborative platform for social entrepreneurs and others who share the vision of a world where every child masters empathy. Here’s a video about Ashoka’s “Start Empathy Initiative:”  https://youtu.be/bfEJBFr5Vxc This post is just scratching the surface on the importance of empathy.  It’s an integral part of the competencies that make up both Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) in education, and also Emotional Intelligence (EQ) in non-educational settings. More Resources Ashoka’s empathy site is here:  https://empathy.ashoka.org/ The site https://startempathy.org/ is powered by Ashoka and includes much more information, including “A Toolkit for Promoting Empathy in Schools” which you can obtain from the main web page linked above or download it from this link: https://ow.ly/wXQOI What Action Can You Take? I hope that this information will encourage you to

15 04, 2014

Introducing Mindfulness to Children

2021-05-20T17:42:56-04:00April 15th, 2014|Tags: , , |

Hello, I’m Lisa Robinson, guest blogger.  As we continue to explore mindfulness, the focus in this post is on introducing mindfulness to children. An excellent resource is the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) www.casel.org , an organization dedicated to advancing the development of academic, social, and emotional competence for all students.  Social and emotional learning, or SEL, is critical in developing these essential competencies:  Self-Awareness, Self-Management, Social Awareness, Relationship Skills, and Responsible Decision-Making. Here’s a video from edutopia.org that provides a great overview about SEL: SEL Video Psychologist and CASEL co-founder Daniel Goleman’s initial model of emotional intelligence is composed of the first four competencies in the list above.  This model introduced the importance of emotional intelligence in business and other settings.  Access Goleman’s web site at https://www.danielgoleman.info/ . Mindfulness is an important key to learning and enhancing skills in SEL or emotional intelligence.  In school, unless a child is able to pay attention, they will not learn effectively.  In an interview about his book ‘Focus,’ Goleman said: “At a school in Spanish Harlem I write about in Focus, I saw a second-grade class doing what they call a session of breathing bodies. The children lie on the floor with a favorite stuffed animal on their belly and watch it rise and fall, counting 1-2-3 with each breath. That strengthens the circuits for concentration and brings the mind back when it wanders.” Helping children learn about mindfulness will

8 04, 2014

The Mindful Path – Introduction

2021-05-20T17:42:57-04:00April 8th, 2014|Tags: , |

Hello, my name is Lisa Robinson.  I’m pleased to be a guest blogger for Peace Learning Center, where my posts will highlight the relationships between the practice of mindfulness, emotional intelligence, and social and emotional learning (SEL).  However, the most important part is that I’ll present resources to help adults and children to benefit from enhancing their use of mindfulness.  Through my posts, my hope is that you will find tools and support to travel a mindful path that resonates with you. A great definition of mindfulness comes from Jon Kabat-Zinn, who is known for bringing mindfulness into the mainstream.  He said that mindfulness is “paying attention in a particular way; on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally.” A number of important benefits have been identified with learning to regularly practice mindfulness.  On 1/02/2014, The Huffington Post featured, ‘Why 2014 Will Be the Year of Mindful Living,’ which indicated that “recent studies have linked mindfulness with emotional stability and improved sleep, increased focus and memory, enhanced creativity, and lower stress levels, among a host of other positive health outcomes.” Practicing mindfulness can translate into greater effectiveness and satisfaction.  In business, this can help professionals to demonstrate enhanced emotional intelligence that facilitates success at work.  In education, through enhanced social and emotional learning (SEL), mindfulness can help teachers to find more meaning and joy in their work, to engage students to accomplish more than they ever thought possible, and for

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