(Some Parents.com site tips and more)

In the Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s 2022 Education Confidence Report’s  annual survey of 1,000 K-12 educators and administrators, there were some interesting findings:

1) 76% of educators had negative feelings on the state of education and teaching;

2) And Teachers said they want parents to know that if students engage (like talk, in person) with their peers on a social level that it would produce benefits in the classroom.

Social-Emotional learning (SEL) is becoming quite important so that students can manage their feelings and show empathy for others. Research says it can help schools be safer and curb violence.Second grade teacher Jennifer Gilbert adds that a “safe, happy, confident learner who feels valued by their teachers and their classmates will not only perform well academically, but they will continue to spread that kindness, respect….”

Current social/culture wars have had an effect on education. When teachers are pushed to remove books from the library it “deepens the divide between teachers and her(their) students’ parents.”

SEL makes a subject more personal and relatable and teaches students to work together in groups, impacting their behavior in the areas of self awareness and emotions. It is a way to TEACH THE WHOLE CHILD. You can find out more with this link:https://www.usnews.com/education/k12/articles/how-schools-incorporate-social-emotional-learning 

….As for adults, parents or no, life, in the summer, winter, any time, may be stressful. You don’t want to go nuts trying to make a million appointments and pleasing everyone, showing up with that cake you baked late at night or doing your boss’s work for him/her. Sometimes life will toss you such lemons (including physical injuries/health issues).

So, are you going to cry over spilled milk, as the expression goes? Or be proactive? A bit of mindfulness meditation would help, right? Here are a few steps to follow  (from the famous Mayo Clinic):

  • Pay attention. It’s hard to slow down and notice things in a busy world. Try to take the time to experience your environment with all of your senses — touch, sound, sight, smell and taste. For example, when you eat a favorite food, take the time to smell, taste and truly enjoy it.
  • Live in the moment. Try to intentionally bring an open, accepting and discerning attention to everything you do. Find joy in simple pleasures.
  • Accept yourself. Treat yourself the way you would treat a good friend.
  • Focus on your breathing. When you have negative thoughts, try to sit down, take a deep breath and close your eyes. Focus on your breath as it moves in and out of your body. Sitting and breathing for even just a minute can help.
You can also try more structured mindfulness exercises, such as:
  • Body scan meditation. Lie on your back with your legs extended and arms at your sides, palms facing up. Focus your attention slowly and deliberately on each part of your body, in order, from toe to head or head to toe. Be aware of any sensations, emotions or thoughts associated with each part of your body.
  • Sitting meditation. Sit comfortably with your back straight, feet flat on the floor and hands in your lap. Breathing through your nose, focus on your breath moving in and out of your body. If physical sensations or thoughts interrupt your meditation, note the experience and then return your focus to your breath.
  • Walking meditation. Find a quiet place 10 to 20 feet in length, and begin to walk slowly. Focus on the experience of walking, being aware of the sensations of standing and the subtle movements that keep your balance. When you reach the end of your path, turn and continue walking, maintaining awareness of your sensations.

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