Social and Emotional Learning in Action

Social and Emotional Learning in Action

November 19, 2019 2 By Stanley Isaacs


>>Sarah: Basically what I want you
to know is what people say to us and how other people treat us kind of
shapes what we think about ourselves. And I want to share with you a story. One day Maria woke up…>>Narrator: Sarah Button is about
to tear her heart out in front of fifth graders at the
Patrick Daly School in Brooklyn.>>Sarah: And her sister came into
the room and said “You’re going to wear those old rags to school?” [ripping paper heart]>>Narrator: Her lesson is part of
the curriculum developed by R.C.C.P., the Resolving Conflict Creatively
Program and it’s designed to help kids identify and
control their emotions.>>Linda: The work that we do in the Resolving Conflict
Creatively Program is about equipping young people
with the kids of skills they need to both identify and
manage their emotions, to communicate those
emotions effectively, and to resolve conflict nonviolently. So it’s a whole set of skills
and competencies that for us fall under the umbrella of
emotional intelligence.>>Sarah: And started complaining that Maria always takes
the last bowl of cereal. “You never leave any for me.” [ripping paper heart]>>Linda: We are talking about a whole
new vision of education that says that educating the heart is as
important as educating the mind.>>Sarah: So that was Maria’s day. How do you think Maria is feeling now
if this is what’s left of her heart?>>Has anybody ever had
a day like Maria had?>>Student: When I went to my uncle’s
house, they looked at my clothes and they started laughing.>>Sarah: Okay how did
that make you feel?>>Student: Sad.>>Sarah: Now I want you to think what
kind of effect do you think this has on Maria if day in and day out
this is what happens to her? This is the way she’s being treated. What kind of effect
does that have on her?>>Student: She ain’t gonna
have no self-respect.>>Linda: We’re really
not teaching values. We’re actually teaching skills. We’re teaching some
solid competencies that people can learn and use. They’re almost like
tools in a toolbox.>>Class: One, two, three, action.>>Sarah: And freeze. Nice job. Hector?>>Hector: Sad?>>Sarah: Alright.>>Narrator: The R.C.C.
program at this school grew out of a tragic incident in 1992. A young student had left the
school after an emotional outburst and when Principal
Patrick Daly followed him into a neighborhood housing
project, Daly was caught in the crossfire of
a drug deal gunfight.>>Sarah: Once we’re able to
identify the feelings we’re having, we’re going to use it as a tool and
a strategy to help us solve problems.>>Class: One, two, three, action.>>Student: Stacy, you’re
a lousy friend. You didn’t even invite me
to your birthday party. I have you over to
my house all the time and you couldn’t invite
me to one stupid party?>>Student: Dina, why
don’t you shut up? Who cares what you think? It was a wonderful party
but you wouldn’t have known because you’d never know how to act. If I invited you, you would
have ruined the whole thing.>>Teacher: And freeze. Okay, that’s skit A. They’re
now going to show you skit B and this is using the
strategy that I’m going to teach you in just a minute.>>Narrator: One way the R.C.C.
Program helps diffuse classroom conflicts is by teaching children
how to express their emotion in nonthreatening statements
called “I messages”.>>Class: Okay, one,
two, three, action.>>Student: Stacy, I felt
hurt and angry when I found out you had a birthday party
and you didn’t invite me because I thought we were good
friends and it just doesn’t seem to me something a good
friend would do.>>Student: Dina, I wanted to
invite you to my birthday party, but my mother said I could
only invite two friends because all my cousins were coming. I wanted to talk to you before the
party but I didn’t know how to. I would like to keep
on being friends.>>Sarah: And freeze. Alright, yeah, nice job.>>Class: [applause]>>Sarah: Well what we were
doing today is definitely, it’s an artificial situation. It’s not real life and granted,
when my kids go and they’re into a situation where someone
has said “You talk about my mother and I’m not going to have
it, forget about it.” You know they’re going to slip
and they’re going to go back “Well you said this,”
and they’re going to get their attitudes
and that’s kids. But what you try to do is
you try to bring them back. You try to review. You go over it again. You say “What’s another way that
we could solve this problem?”>>When you don’t play
with me because->>Class: I thought
we were good friends.>>Sarah: I want to say
just one last thing. The true test is what happens
when you’re in the situation and that’s why we practice it so
that hopefully the next time you’re in a situation where you’re
finding yourself getting very upset, maybe you can stop, identify
what feeing you’re having, why you’re having it,
and maybe that will help to not cause more of a problem.>>And you start with as we’ve done
in here is building your community. And you build on that every month. And you keep going and going.>>I’ll begin. And I’m very thankful
for my wonderful class. And I’m going to pass
on to [inaudible].>>Student: I’m thankful for a family because without a family
I wouldn’t be here today.>>Sarah: By the end
of the year you have such a tight-knit focused
caring group it’s amazing. I mean they might not carry
that on to the next year, but you know at least for that year, you’ve really made a
difference in those kids’ lives.>>Narrator: For more
information on what works in public education,
go to edutopia.org.