An SEL Smorgasbord

Today I'm energized because I've been working on my keynote
and breakout session for my trip to Indiana next week.

I've been invited to work with and grow alongside their school counselors, 
who've chosen the Starfish Thrower as their conference theme;
the amazing Julie Woodard created this Sketchnote
from things that I learned from my Starfish through the years.

What I find as I craft these growth sessions is that
our work, and life really, is all about relationships. 
That's it.
It's about how we treat people.

Not that that's easy. At all. But once we have established our why,
our what and our how can fall in place more handily. For sure.

Last week when I was asked to pitch a proposal for Region 5 in Beaumont, I found myself thinking of all things SEL. Here's what I came up with:

A School Counselor's SEL Smorgasbord: If you're looking for a day-long growth session that will fortify what's already on your plate with engagement and empowerment strategies that you can use in your character building as soon as you get back, then this interactive, high-energy workshop is for you. Prepare to be positively inspired and intentionally moved by the wisdom, enthusiasm, and joy that veteran school counselor Barbara Gruener brings to a room. Soar on in to stretch and grow with this passionate life coach, mentor, and author in the areas of mindset, emotional regulation, character development, mindfulness and self-care. Cape up and unleash the power within with us.

There will be an elementary day and a secondary day;
won't it be fun to plan for those sessions?
Then it got me to thinking that you, my dear reader, may want 
to grab a plate and jump in line at the SEL Smorgasbord.

First, my friend Houston Kraft wrote this epic piece on 

What a promising practice, to invite students to mark the spot on the emotions chart that aligns with how they're feeling that day. Imagine how your teaching might change, transform even, with this insightful information.

Next, today's Character Speaks episode featuring Canadian kindergarten teacher Laurie McIntosh will blow you away. I have listened three times and each time don't want the interview to stop. I especially connected with the part where Laurie battles fear and uncertainty with kindness, an incredible antidote for anxiety. 

Then, as a part of the ongoing Friendswood ISD SEL movement, high school students are producing student-led PSAs; I'm so proud of my former student, Elizabeth, and everyone who helped bring this goodness to life. 

For the FISD comprehensive list of SEL resources, click {here}.
Check out my SEL Pinterest Board {here}.
Visit the Zen Zone at Quincy Elementary for a mindful moment.

Next, my Twitter friend Kristin Wiens creates {and then makes them available at no cost} these incredible Sketches {here}.

Talk about the generosity of walking the talk.
It's goodness in motion, for sure.

Speaking of goodness in motion, have you seen this clip featuring
Andrew Sokatch from the Character Lab and his bicycle metaphor?

Their statistic about only teaching content meaning only reaching 30-50% of a child's needs reminds me of this Liberty insurance commercial in which your insurance will only fix a portion of your total-loss car: "What are you supposed to do, drive three quarters of a car?" 

Newsela just launched an SEL component to help teachers organically teach relevant topics while simultaneously covering curriculum requirements. The topics cover self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship building and responsible decision making-all designed for targeted age groups from K-12 and available as a free and a for-purchase option.

Finally, for our learners in the upper grades, 
check out this title from our friends at Free Spirit Publishing.

So many stellar supports on our SEL smorgasbord;
what's a go-to favorite on your plate to help your students thrive? 

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