The importance of school connectivity
Episode Summary: Middle school counselor James Wright talks with Dr. Jane Bluestein about the importance of connectedness and compassion in schools. They explore the impact of adverse childhood experiences on kids’ experiences in school, especially with regard to their ability to learn and their response to traditional, punitive discipline policies. Wright discusses working with teachers to help them appreciate the impact of crises and trauma in kids’ lives. They also examine the gap between the brain research and typical school policies, the importance of giving students opportunities to be successful and feel valued and safe, and specific strategies Wright has used to teach kids to be compassionate and respectful to one another. Click here to listen.
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Program Notes: Click here for a PDF handout with information and a list of resources related to this topic.
Click here for Mr. Wright’s bully-prevention brochure of student bystanders.
Counselor, Mill Creek Middle School, Kent, WA
James Wright is currently in his 21st year as a middle school counselor. Over the years, he has gradually expanded his role from a primary focus on student support to include being an agent for change in his building. Wright feel strongly that our focus on reading, math, and the tests that go with them is hurting our schools. Particularly in order to save our highest risk students, he believes that we need to spend much more time on the social and emotional realms. For the past several years, he has been an advocate for animal rights, something that has helped to shape his views about schools.
This program was recorded on September 19, 2012. The content will also be available on the Energize Students Web site.
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