Our platform is sports but I allow our buddies to take the lead on what we play one day a week. They can choose a sport to play in the school gym or outdoor fields and courts at the park across the street. On the second day we meet, I provide a fitness room challenge exercise of the day which creates an even playing field for all. **While the platform for this program is sports, it doesn't have to be. A teacher could choose, art, music or any other platform. Beth
It's my pleasure, Emma! I am with Gandhi who once said, "Compassion is a muscle that gets stronger with use." I believe that middle school students can cognitively understand what it means to be empathetic but that those muscles don't truly grow stronger unless they have an opportunity to use them.
I've updated my page quite a bit, including a brief "playbook pdf", I really liked your play on words there. I'm working on a more detailed one, if I get selected to the next level. I also added a video my high school son, Kyle made, that tells the story. Can you give it a look and give me some feedback? I'd love to see this message of inclusion grow and get the program accessible to other teachers...
Emma, Thank you for stretching my thinking with your questions. The first 10 minutes of a 43 minute period is spent engaging students in mini-lessons on character. My "playbook" would have an outline of the mini-lessons I use to pepper the class periods when our 8th graders meet with our students with special /social needs. Some topics we cover are: identifying empathy vs. sympathy, understanding grit & mindset, finding true happiness & success, and self-care strategies & mindfulness. I would include samples of information I use to make these messages meaningful, for example: specific video and media, conversation starters etc. I would include an instruction guide on the theories and philosophies on how to encourage students to lead through inspiration and motivation over direct instruction as the process involves emotional vulnerability on the part of all stakeholders. That said, there would be a section citing recent research on social and emotional learning instruction in general that speaks to the "how-to" inspire 8th grade students to want to step outside of themselves to help others.The playbook would also include a document including follow-up activities and games. :) Beth