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Current Issue

November 2020
Partnering with Families

Contributing Editor: Michelle Gill, Director of Consulting and Certifications

The pace of the world, especially over the last eight months, has left little time to pause and reflect. Doing so now can feel almost selfish: “Who am I to stop just to think, when so much is happening and so many people need me?” But reflection is critical to growth, especially in education. Take a moment to pause and reflect about the school-home partnerships in your school or district.

Reflect: Describe your current partnerships with families and how the pandemic and sociopolitical climate impacted it. Envision: What is the look, sound, and feel of your ideal family partnership, one that benefits your students, families, and yourself?

If there is a gap between your current reality and your ideal, what steps can you take to close that gap? Will they honor the families’ and your needs? What support is needed to accomplish those steps? Know that Center for Responsive Schools is here to support and encourage you.

In this issue, educators and families discuss building stronger partnerships between caregivers and schools. Included are reflections from educators about lessons learned and changes they made that positively impacted their work with families. The ideas shared are grounded in the foundational belief and supported by research that knowing and valuing families is key to creating successful school-home partnerships. As you prepare to dig into this issue, I leave you with a simple and powerful call to action from Chip Wood (2011, p. 109): “The case for parental involvement is solid. The rest is up to us.”

I’d like to thank my supporting editor, Lindsey Lynch, for her help in securing articles and editing.

Read the November 2020 Journal

Past Issues

October 2020
The Power of Empathy

From altered routines to online instruction, educators have had to navigate profound and unexpected challenges this year. As we continue to adjust while trying to remain present and optimistic, it may prove difficult to know exactly how to show up for students. What can we do to ensure that they are fulfilled, supported, and—most importantly—able to learn? Our answer to this question is straightforward: practice empathy. While empathy can’t stop Zoom from freezing or adapt our lessons to meet this year’s demands, it will remind us that we’re all in this together and that we are all facing similar struggles with personal implications.

Read the October 2020 Journal
September 2020
Social-Emotional Learning and Equity

The year 2020 has forced a spotlight on equity, first with the pandemic and then with cries for social justice. Equity is not the same as equality, which means treating everyone the same and providing the same oppor­tunities and resources. Equity goes beyond that, providing individualized support and addressing the barriers students face based on race, gender, and other factors. Understanding these key differences will allow us to move forward and turn our vision for school communities into reality.

Read the September 2020 Journal
August 2020
Off to a Great Start: Creating a Welcoming Environment

This journal finds us at the beginning of a school year that will be unlike any that have preceded it. Educators will be asked to deal with the constraints and effects of the current health crisis while also addressing the systemic racism that creates inequity in our school communities. These issues underscore how critical social and emotional learning is, yet the constraints of maintaining social distance or learning virtually will make creating connections with and between students harder than ever before.

Read the August 2020 Journal
July 2020
Rejuvenate Reimagine Recalibrate

In this issue of the journal, we have selected pieces that we hope will spark ideas of how we can work together to create a better school experience for every student, every day. By identifying opportunities in the future school structure that will allow students and teachers to continue to grow, we can find ways to construct an optimal learning environment for everyone in our learning community.

Read the July 2020 Journal
June 2020
Building SEL Skills

In this issue, we’ve curated articles aimed at ameliorating the challenges you may be facing right now while also encouraging you to find small moments for grounding and growth. Regardless of the changes you’re navigating, remember that what you are feeling is valid, these circumstances are temporary, and that in the wake of great change and disruption new opportunities can arise.

Read the June 2020 Journal
May 2020
Celebrating SEL Success Stories Around the World

The educator stories in our May issue, collected from around the world, show the importance of social-emotional learning, building and maintaining positive relationships, setting clear expectations, and reinforcing our sense of community in our school environments. Social-emotional learning is the foundation for great teaching and engaged learning, helping to create a community of learners who can carry their sense of significance and belonging with them wherever they go.

Read the May 2020 Journal
April 2020
Supporting You in Times of Change

COVID-19 has affected all of our lives, and for educators in particular it has been challenging to find ways to maintain a positive classroom community through distance learning and sustain student engagement, all while helping students to recognize and appropriately manage the emotions they may be experiencing.

Read the April 2020 Journal
March 2020
Safe, Joyful, and Engaging: It Doesn't Matter Where or How (Special Edition)

We know educators everywhere are experiencing their own array of emotions and challenges surrounding the sudden changes presented by immediate school closures. We also know these challenges are being met with hope, ingenuity, and compassion. In this special edition issue, you will hear from a variety of educators about the ways they are coping, adjusting, and finding ways to continue creating hope and joy for their students.

Read the March 2020 Journal
February 2020
Literacy and SEL

In this issue, we explore and define social-emotional literacy, discover the importance of picture books, and learn how graphic novels are more than a novelty. These insights are tools you can use on your SEL journey and may even provide you with the gift of time. Our favorite books and characters are as varied as ourselves, but their impact is universal and cannot be denied.

Read the February 2020 Journal
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