“Anger is Armour”

A Recap of Awareness to Action 2021 – By Sheri Bennett, Director of Professional Learning

Educating angry students is not a task that any teacher wants to undertake, however, all educators know that many of our students show up to class or on the screen with an angry attitude or frowny face. Life outside of school can give kids many reasons to be angry. 

Addressing this very issue on Presidents’ Day during the “Awareness to Action” workshop, thousands of teachers and administrators across the state were virtually together to look at next steps after becoming “trauma informed.” Education in the 21st century requires that educators have a “trauma lens” in which to see our students who have lived through various situations that make learning difficult, as they are trying to survive in a household, car or other traumatic situation that make learning almost impossible. 

All of the science points to the fact that when students are in fight or flight mode, they are not regulated and cannot assimilate new information, much less keep their emotions under control.

A quote from one of the breakout sessions in the afternoon really stuck with me, “In the ideal world, what is taught is learned. Yet, countless factors make such a simple hope quite complex. There are strategic approaches individuals, teams, and whole schools can implement to meet students where they are and work toward proficiency.”

Every session pointed to the relationship piece between educator and student. The most powerful indicator of student learning is within the heart of our educators. Is there another job in the world where you truly have to love those who you serve? 

Social Emotional Learning is here to stay is the answer to this huge epidemic of children with traumatic backgrounds and who struggle with self awareness, self management, social awareness, relationship skills and responsible decision making. From our kindergarten to seniors, all students must learn how to be aware of and manage their emotions to be able to be a productive member of society. This is not something else that is put on our teachers’ plates, just a heightened awareness that they are modeling all of these skills for their students. Addressing these with your students can be done in conversations, class meetings, and thousands of other ways as our members show us weekly on Teachable Tuesdays! If you haven’t joined the conversation on Facebook yet with Teachable Tuesdays, I encourage you to do so!

Keep turning those angry frowns upside down dear teacher. Making a difference in the lives of students is what we were called to do. One student at a time, one day at a time. You were born for this! 

Reach out to our Professional Learning Department with any questions, coaching requests or Professional Learning requests. We are always happy to design a learning experience for you personally!

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