Every Classroom (and Congress) Needs a Peace Circle

"This is the point: we cannot engineer kindness, grit, empathy, or any other skill into students. We cannot just teach isolated lessons and expect them to one day know how to use them. As teachers, we must build environments in which these skills are practiced across the school day– because it is only through this authentic practice that students will actually learn the skills we know will help them thrive as individuals and work together as a community."

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Nicole HenselComment
Big Shift #2: Efficiency to Possibility (Instrumental to Intrinsic): February 2018 Newsletter

We adore the idea of using Valentine's Day as a reminder to celebrate all the different kinds of love and moments of joy in our lives and the world.

This fits well with the big mindshift of the month: from Efficiency to Possibility: We need to move out of efficiency frames and into possibility frames when we design school practice and policy.  Why?  Because designing for efficiency is destroying all the joy and love in school.

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Big Shift #1: Symptoms to Systems - January 2018 Newsletter

We're starting the new year focusing on the first big shift in thinking required for real change in education: Symptoms to Systems. So much of our time in schooling and school reform is spent addressing symptomatic issues, while the real systems problems get ignored. A tell-tale sign that something is a systems issue is when symptoms are widespread and predictably patterned across different kinds of people and situations (e.g. anxiety and depression across many high-performing institutions, drop-outs in low-income institutions).

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Why I Left Teaching

As an energetic and optimistic 22-year old, I entered my Kindergarten classroom in Denver, Colorado with dreams for my students: that they would be empowered, fulfilled, and flourishing individuals. If I could teach them the knowledge, beliefs, and character that would help them create good lives and contribute to a more beautiful society, I would have succeeded as an educator.  I never would have predicted that a short three years later I would wonder if I were actually doing more harm than good.

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