M3S1 Social Awareness, Mindfulness, and You

We had a brief opening practice and dived into discussion today!

The CASEL definition of Social Awareness is “The ability to take the perspective of and empathize with others, including those from diverse backgrounds and cultures. The ability to understand social and ethical norms for behavior and to recognize family, school, and community resources and supports.”

Concepts include:

    • Perspective-taking

    • Empathy

    • Appreciating diversity

    • Respect for others

You read this article before our session this week: https://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2018/08/10/meditation-isnt-just-about-self-help-heres-what.html

We had a challenging but ultimately productive conversation about “a path toward equity”.

    • What does “a path toward equity” mean in your life?

    • What does “a path toward equity” mean in your classroom?

    • How can you use mindfulness to “increase your sense of agency, not submit”?

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Participants shared that they felt their student body was particularly challenging for them to relate to, given the level of trauma many experience at home. We talked about whether equity means something different to different people. Does equity mean different things for each of us at different points in our lives?

“How we spend our days is how we spend our lives” Therefore, it may also be true that how we spend our days is how we shape our students’ lives! What is one thing you’ve started doing with your students since enrolling in B-COME this year? What is one thing you can start doing next week?

Finally, as an exercise in perspective-taking, a crucial aspect of social awareness, I asked you to put yourselves in the mind of a specific student that was close to your heart. We started working on a description of that one specific student’s “Average Perfect Day.” This concept was tricky for some people, as they felt that everyone’s perfect day would be similar. I disagree that the perfect day for each of us would be the same, even within the confines of the school schedule and structure. It’s also important to note the work “Average” in the activity description. If the student you have in mind often misses their bus, for example, their average day would include getting on the bus on time! What kind of attention (or space) do they crave? What kind of greeting, what kind of feedback, what kind of activities make up their average perfect school day? We will build on this in sessions to come.

Thanks for a great session!