Blog

Happy New Year from the SEL Center!

Monday, January 8, 2018 - 09:04

It’s early January – a time of contradictions and conflicting emotions. It’s that time of year when we simultaneously want to refresh, renew, and try new things AND want to curl up on the couch and wait out the cold. It’s a time when we want our students and youth participants to buckle down and get back into work yet we get as excited about the prospect of a snow day as they do.  We crave routine and order yet miss the chaos and excitement of the holidays as the winter stretches out with no good excuse to eat chocolate anywhere on the horizon. 

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Looking Forward to 2018

Thursday, December 21, 2017 - 12:59

As a new year approaches, it's a good time to reflect and plan. We asked Children’s Institute staff what they hope to accomplish in 2018. We asked for big, lofty goals, and/or small ones alike. Here's what they said:

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Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 19, 2017 - 13:08

With the holiday season upon us, it’s always fun to reflect on what makes this time of year special. We asked the Children’s Institute staff what were their favorite holiday traditions growing up, and as an adult what do they look forward to. There are a few clear themes, the stuff we always think about at Christmas, yummy treats and presents. It’s also clear that as we get older, but even as children, we appreciate this time of year for the chance we get to see our loved ones and enjoy spending time with each other.

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Calming Children’s Holiday-Induced Anxieties

Thursday, December 14, 2017 - 10:51

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year” . . . or is it? For many of the children in our classroom, the holidays bring with them a whole slew of stressful thoughts and anxieties. Many of the kids we work with are worrying about money, family situations, gift-giving, being “different” in their beliefs, and loss. All of these factors can cause children to sink deeper into anxiety and despair at a time when the mainstream media is screaming, “Joy!  Happiness!!  Merriment!!!” As educators, what can we do to help them embrace this season with hope rather than trepidation? 

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Children’s Institute 2017 Coterie

Tuesday, November 7, 2017 - 09:50

Last week, Children’s Institute hosted their biennial Community Update and Coterie Induction. The Coterie inductees were Deborah Johnson, Dr. Jeff Kaczorowski and the late Gary Lazenby. What is a coterie? Webster’s Dictionary defines it as an intimate and often exclusive group of persons with a unifying common interest or purpose.· Children’s Institute defines it as a group of special friends whose contribution to Children's Institute is ongoing and significant; whether it be intellectual property, financial property, volunteerism, or a combination of the above.

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Rising Teacher Stress and How SEL Can Help

Thursday, November 2, 2017 - 15:04

study from the American Federation of Teachers was released on Monday of this week, revealing that teacher stress is on the rise, and remains at rates startlingly higher than the general workforce population. Almost 5,000 respondents took the opportunity to reflect on tensions in their workplace, some randomly sampled from the AFT’s union membership and most voluntary respondents through social media channels. Cumulatively, 61% of these educators find their positions to be “always” or “often” stressful. More than half of the respondents reported a full week’s worth of poor mental health days every month, perhaps because they are being “bullied” by administrators or students (27% report incidents of this nature). On the whole, educators feel they have less impact on policy decisions and professional development content, and less control over their classrooms. They see more instances of verbal aggression among students and the majority of them do all of this on 5-7 hours of sleep a night.

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Everyday SEL: Being Grateful

Wednesday, October 4, 2017 - 15:37

At the start of our Programs & Services area staff meeting yesterday, I stood at the head of the table – pausing, looking and listening to the incredible team getting settled – checking in, laughing, sighing, deep breaths – taking a few moments to be together and recognize that we are in the fall season that brings a demanding focus and intense service to schools, agencies and communities.  Significant work is already accomplished and it’s only the beginning of the new school year!

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What Makes Children's Institute Special?

Tuesday, October 3, 2017 - 13:15

At a recent all staff meeting, we at Children’s Institute took some time to talk about what makes us special. Below is a summary.

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10 Easy Tips for Practicing SEL This Year

Tuesday, September 19, 2017 - 13:21

As teachers and staff come back to their classrooms this month, we know that so much of your focus is on what you can do to make your new students feel right at home in their classroom. In the bustle of arranging desks and equipment, creating beautiful bulletin boards and planning fun first-day-of-school activities, here are ten quick ideas to increase social and emotional learning in your classrooms this fall. Most take less than 15 minutes to implement.

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Kids & Trucks 2017 Is Almost Here!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017 - 12:59

Pretend you’re six years old… then think about what you want to be when you grow up. It may be a professional athlete, whatever your parents do for a living or something you see on TV. Your imagination is limitless – maybe a circus performer, a cashier at Wegmans or even a truck driver.

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