We continue our podcast series with Stenhouse author Shawna Coppola and kindergarten teacher Laura, who is in her first year of teaching. In this episode, they tackle behavior charts and social-emotional learning.
Mentoring New Teachers Podcast – Episode II: Social-Emotional Learning
By Shawna Coppola
In the first episode of our podcast focusing on mentoring new teachers, Laura and I discussed ways to cope with the all-too-familiar feeling of worrying about “fitting it all in,” especially in regard to literacy. Too often, classroom teachers are pressured to include so many different components of what constitutes a “balanced” literacy program that we are frequently left feeling as if we are doing none of them justice. During that first conversation, I advised Laura to keep a close eye on the big picture when it came to her students’ literacy experiences and to try to identify the experiences that gave both her and her students the “best bang for [their] buck”–a difficult, yet important, task.
As she continued to experiment with how to incorporate literacy instruction into her students’ day in a way that felt more integrated and less piecemeal, Laura expressed to me that she was beginning to feel challenged by the social/emotional demands of her kindergartners. Like many classroom teachers, Laura is forced to juggle a wide variety of student needs with very little sustained guidance. She feels as though she is “drowning in behavior charts,” which runs counter to her desire to co-construct a healthy classroom community with her students. In this podcast episode, Laura and I discuss how social-emotional learning is at the heart of all good teaching, and I explain how both kidwatching and documentation can help her root out some of the causes of those behaviors that frequently derail the development of the community she and her students are working so hard to create.
RESOURCES & INSPIRATION:
Buckley, Mary Anne. 2015. Sharing the Blue Crayon: How to Integrate Social, Emotional, and Literacy Learning. Portland, ME: Stenhouse Publishers.
Mraz. K. & Hertz, C. 2015. A mindset for learning: Teaching the traits of joyful, independent growth. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.
Mraz, Kristine. Kinderconfidential [Blog].