Building Community School Wide

Topics to assist with building community at a schoolwide level:

holding hands around the world

Diversity, Inclusion, Equity, and Bias

Diversity is the range of human differences, including but not limited to race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, social class, physical ability or attributes, religious or ethical values system, national origin, and political beliefs. Inclusion is the deliberate act of welcoming diversity and creating an environment where all different kinds of people can thrive and succeed. Diversity is what you have. Inclusion is what you do. Our bias is the prejudice we have in favour of or against one thing, person, or group compared with another, usually in a way considered to be unfair.

Incorporating Voice and Encouraging Engagement

Teaching is not a job we can do effectively in isolation. It does take a village, or at least an engaged community.  By  listening to the feedback and ideas of students, parents, and other community members, we get a bigger and clearer picture of what may work best. By increasing engagement in all three domains, student, parents, and broader community, we are open ourselves to partnerships that in the end will best benefit our students.

Discipline Models

Research shows that punitive discipline may curb some behaviours short term, but does not transform behaviour. There are many positive approaches that lead to not only transformative behaviour,  but a culture in a school that seeks to problem solve and work collaboratively toward what is best for all.
Restorative Practice Approach, the Collaborative & Proactive Solutions (CPS), and the Nurtured Heart Approach are all non-punitive methodologies that focus on building relationships and repairing harm, rather than simply punishing students for misbehavior.

Learning Everywhere

From learning outdoors to flexible seating, learning everywhere is an important topic to consider when we are wanting to optimize student learning. Learning Everywhere is an experimental venture looking to improve achievement and the student learning experience through questioning our own pedagogy. If we define pedagogy as the “interactions between teachers, students, the learning environment and the learning tasks and tools”, examining instruction, learning tasks, assessment, use of technology, and environment will enhance the engagement and achievement of students.

Creating a Community of Empathetic and Caring Citizens

There are many ways to highlight and promote a culture of a kind and caring community within a school. From reading buddies to character rotations and conferences, there are a lot of schoolwide activities that can build and promote community.

Daring Classrooms

 “We must be guardians of spaces that allow students to breathe, be curious, and to explore the world and be who they are without suffocation. They deserve one place where they can rumble with vulnerability and their hearts can exhale. We should never underestimate the benefit to a child of having a place to belong—even one—where they can take off their armour. It can and often does change the trajectory of their life.”

This is a link to Brene Brown’s newly created curriculum.

School Wide Resources and Programs that Support Social and Emotional Learning:

Nurtured Heart Approach

The Nurtured Heart Approach® is a relationship-focused methodology founded strategically in The 3 Stands™ for helping children (and adults) build their Inner Wealth™ and use their intensity in successful ways. It has become a powerful way of awakening the inherent greatness in all children while facilitating parenting and classroom success.

The Third Path

Following the Third Path means focusing on the student-educator relationship first. Caring, intentional and responsive relationships are at the heart of learning and growth. This approach leads to understanding each student, and truly knowing their strengths, struggles, and needs.

front cover of mind up curriculum

Mind Up Curriculum

Published by Scholastic, this 15-lesson series is based on four pillars: neuroscience, social-emotional learning (SEL), positive psychology and mindful awareness. These lessons work together to build awareness and self-regulation that increases a child’s academic performance, self-control, empathy, and optimism.

Tribes Learning Communities

The clear purpose of the Tribes process is to assure the healthy development of every child so that each one has the knowledge, skills, and resiliency to be successful in a rapidly changing world. The focus is on how to: help each other work on tasks; set goals and solve problems; monitor and assess progress; and celebrate achievements. 

The “How Learning Happens” Series:

How Learning Happens

In this video series, we explore how educators can guide all students, regardless of their developmental starting points, to become productive and engaged learners.

The “How Learning Happens” series, put out by Edutopia, is a valuable resource that you may want to bookmark. The series, which explores teaching practices grounded in the science of learning and human development, has great videos and articles highlighting key themes that enhance learning. Interestingly enough, most are related to Social and Emotional Learning.

Topics covered:

  • Cultivating a Belonging Mindset
  • Fostering Positive Relationships
  • Building Academic Confidence
  • Developing Foundational Skills
  • Establishing Positive Conditions for Learning

Explore more of our Building Community Modules