In today’s climate, many of our students’ families are feeling anxious. Anxious about whether they are welcome in the United States. Anxious about escalating disagreements and protests surrounding immigrants from countries near and far. Anxious that loved ones may be deported. Regardless of our own political beliefs, as teachers, we are called to empathize with, support, and love our students. We are called to respond to their social and emotional challenges as much as their academic ones. I am reminded of this each day that I open the newspaper or read about current events online, and over and over, the following story pops into my head, as clearly as if I had experienced it yesterday.
Recent research shows that punishing students who bully is not enough and that we must begin every child’s education by establishing relationship skills and building empathy among students. October is National Bullying Prevention Month and all month long on the Heinemann blog we’ve been sharing blogs, resources and articles from Heinemann authors Lester Laminack and Reba Wadsworth. In 2012, Lester and Reba co-authored the book Bullying Hurts.
Authors Kristi Mraz and Christine Hertz want to change how we look at our classrooms. They say we need to think beyond the idea of "good in school" and ask; will our students be good in the world? Will these students have empathy, will they be resilient, can they face challenges with flexibility? These are just some of the traits Kristi and Christine explore in their book: A Mindset for Learning: Teaching the traits of Joyful, Independent Growth.
In When Kids Can't Read, Kylene Beers offers teachers the comprehensive handbook they've needed to help readers improve their skills. Recently, Kylene hosted a Facebook Live Q&A on this book. We've taken the audio of the conversation and made part of The Heinemann Podcast. You can take Kylene's words of advice with you in the form of a podcast.
In Celebrating Diversity Through Language Study, author Jen McCreight introduces us to a new approach to grammar study, a subject area all too often taught without students and their unique backgrounds in mind. In this post adapted from Sonia Nieto's foreword to the book, we see the true importance of this kind of work in the everyday classroom.