As you probably know – we can control very little in life; and so, controlling others is simply not possible. Yet, influencing them absolutely is!
The only things we can really try to control in life are our thoughts and our actions – and I don’t write that lightly.
That shit takes work!
Success is more than a degree and a job; it’s feeling connected to the work we do, the people we are with, and most importantly, our self.
Self-knowledge and continuously growing as a person are how to live more profound, authentic lives. Authentic people who teach students have the biggest impact. The work we do on ourselves is perhaps the hardest work we do in life – producing the largest dividends. Socrates might have been onto something when he professed, the unexamined life is not worth living. I live by that statement and so should every educator, parent, and human being, for that matter.
We have life histories, trauma, psychological and emotional hardship and must face them all in order to continue to grow. It’s not fucking easy, but whoever told you that learning is easy? Learning can be transformative, but never easy. It’s messy, and sometimes requires everything to absolutely fall apart in a big messy heap before it’s cleaned up and sorted.
So, if you’d like to teach social and emotional learning more in your class, then begin by immersing yourself in your own life – witnessing your own emotions as they come and go; noticing your state of mind upon awakening or when in a classroom full of students.
What is going on in your heart? What words circulate your brain daily?
Keep a journal – take note! Write like you were a teenager again, letting the pen just write without interjecting your own judgment, corrections, or editing. Learn from your own life, with courage, and then model your process to your students.
Kids learn more from our example than our words.
How are you showing rather than telling them, that they must be self-aware, regulated, accountable, and considerate?
To learn more in a totally relatable way check out our SEL workshop: It’s not about you…but then again.