Dear <<First Name>>,
Happy holidays! We hope that this message finds you well. As always, we are excited to share with you ideas and resources to keep RULER alive in your respective schools. The holidays are an opportune time to reconnect with your colleagues and your students and to spend time reflecting on what values are important to your school community.
During the holiday season, we recommend the following:
Revisit the Charter. If you have not re-visited the Charter this year, now is a great time. There are several ways that you can revisit the Charter with faculty/staff and with students. As we shared previously, you can administer a survey to ask your colleagues and students how often they feel the Charter words. Then, you can share the results and lead a discussion and reflection based on the words faculty/staff and students feel more or less and then develop an action plan to ensure that everyone is living the Charter. You can also use this resource to guide a reflection. Additionally, there are student lessons on our online community here that can guide the process. Another way to re-visit the Charter is to select a word on the Charter and have each faculty/staff member and/or student write a note to at least two people to share how that person made them feel that particular Charter word. This will boost morale as well as reinvigorate your school community.
Build a holiday emotion regulation strategy toolbox. The holidays could engender a myriad of emotions ranging from highly pleasant emotions to unpleasant ones. To support students, consider having an activity where students create a list of thought and action strategies that they will use during the holiday season to be their best selves as well as an accountability plan.
Make space for students’ holiday narratives. It is important for us to invite student experiences to our instruction. As such, create an opportunity when students can share holiday narratives with their class. Here are some questions that can guide your students’ holiday narratives:
What is the most special part of the holiday season for you?
What are some of your favorite activities to do during the holidays? How do they make you feel? Why? (You can use the Mood Meter for this!)
Does your family have any traditions during the holiday? If so, what are they and how do they make you feel? (You can use the Mood Meter for this!)
Do the holidays cause you any anxiety or stress? Can you share a little about what that looks like for you? What can you do to help you handle the feelings effectively?
- How do you feel about being away from school and your friends for such a long period of time? Do you have any ideas on how you will stay connected to the people and routines that comfort you?
Last, we wanted to share with you a Teaching Tolerance blog post that Dr. Dena Simmons, Director of Education, wrote on ways educators can leverage emotional intelligence to support students post-election. Enjoy.
Wishing you our best,
The RULER Team and BPS SEL Coordinators