Here's an organization that's doing the important work of drilling down to the meat of the problem. Formerly the Center for Social and Emotional Education, it has recently been renamed to National School Climate Center. It was established to research, assess and train educators on the critical elements that create better "school climates." In other words, more nurturing schools...because the safer kids feel, the better their performance.
Last year they created Bully Bust and last month launched a brand new site with incredible and FREE tools for schools and home. (Yes, I said FREE and they're fantastic.) So basically, there's no excuse not to use these resources.
Besides being really smart, they're creative, too. Check out their promotion with the Broadway show, Wicked. Wickedly brilliant!
Although the Center's focus is on educators, President and Co-Founder Jonathon Cohen was recently asked:
How can parents help improve school climate?
Parents and guardians play an essential and critical part in school climate reform. When in doubt, children listen to their parents and not educators. And, there is a growing body of educational research that underscores the importance of parents and educators learning and working together. Parent leaders need to work with school and ideally, student leaders to periodically consider the following kinds of essential questions:
• what kind of school do we really want ours to be? And, how are current policies or rules as well as instructional and school improvement efforts aligned with our vision?
• how can the adults work together in a ‘non-blaming’ and collaborative problem solving spirit?
• How can parents and teachers – together – develop plans that will be support their child and all children to be able to learn and develop in healthy ways.
It truly does take the whole village to raise healthy children. And, the “whole village” begins with parents and educators learning and working together to make their school a safe, supportive, engaging, helpfully challenging and as much as possible, fun place to be.
So here's to the smart folks at the National School Climate Center. Thanks for using your time and talents to help create schools where kids want to spend their time.