Contributing Editor: Karen Poplawski, Director of Responsive Classroom Programs
Chip Wood, a co-founder of the Responsive Classroom approach to education, noted:
From its inception, nearly forty years ago, Responsive Classroom practices have centered on the inseparable connections between academic and social learning. The fact of the matter is that how children learn is just as important as what they learn, in and out of school.
. . . From childhood, through adolescence and into adulthood, we learn for social and emotional reasons: in order to become more knowledgeable, kind, and wise in our relationships in our families, our schools, our jobs, and as citizens. (C. Wood, personal communication, February 10, 2020)
The life and function of schools go far beyond the school day, and the school experience has shifted dramatically during the past year. Educators and parents have pivoted multiple times to support students through traditional bell-to-bell activities and to adjust to after-school experiences. Moving forward, we need to examine how we return to classrooms, but also how we return students to the full school experience.
In this issue, you will hear from educators, parents, and community organizations as we explore ways the Responsive Classroom approach impacts schools beyond the bell. Some of the featured voices in this issue include Dr. Maureen Marshall, an assistant professor at George Mason University and previously principal of Garfield Elementary School and Stratford Landing; Sean Mims, a seventh-grade history teacher at Brewer Middle School; Lauren Mancini-Komanitsky, a teacher leader and social-emotional learning coach at Christa McAuliffe Middle School; Tina Miller, principal of Howe Elementary School; and Ann Rosen and Stephanie Hooks, co-directors of The Family Connection. We hope you find inspiration and guidance as you look at student life beyond the bell in the future.