Working 2gether Tuesdays
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working 2gether is greater than being divided
working 2gether is greater than being divided
Public Education Perfectly Positioned
There are 51 million students in public pre K through Grade 12 schools in America. That’s 89% of all school age children. 51 million young people attend schools that are perfectly positioned to make real changes in America for the good.
But we daily waste the opportunity. Daily.
Look, I’m not a complainer nor a whiner. I do believe, however, in using researched and anecdotal data to show where we can improve and make changes. Zachary Jason writes in the Harvard Ed magazine about how a giant percentage of students annually lose interest in school. How could this be?
1 out of 5 young people have a mental health condition
1 out of 8 young people have an anxiety disorder/condition
1 out of 10 young people have a mood disorder/condition
1/2 of all lifetime mental health conditions begin by age 14
THE AVERAGE DELAY OF ANY TREATMENT ONCE THERE IS AN ONSET OF SYMPTOMS IS 8 TO 10 YEARS
50% of students 14 years old and older with mental health conditions drop out of high school
70% of youth in state and local juvenile injustice systems have a mental health condition/ illness
Suicide is 3rd leading cause of death in 10 to 24 year olds.
90% who commit suicide had an underlying mental health condition.
!!!Suicides have tripled amongst 10 to 14 yr old females since 2007.
What was debuted in 2007???? The iPhone!!
!!!Suicides have doubled amongst 15 to 18 yr old females since 2007.
(From “How To Mess Up The American Education System” by Michael Gray at weareworking2gether.org)
So…these forthcoming solutions are not because I know better…they are because science knows better.
**Teach teachers and administrators the value of self-development in their own life. Encourage Professional Developments that teach the skills of Practicing Gratitude, Creating Morning and Evening Routines, Meditation, Resilience, Empathy. Also even just exposing educators to Confirmation and Implicit Bias realities along with strategies to overcome them increases the willingness to value self-development for their students.
**In each school…in every district…at an agreed upon part of the day (within that school) practice self-development skills. Some examples are Accurate Thinking, Shame, Vulnerability, Communication Skills, Conflict Resolution Skills, Morning and Evening Routines, Emotional Intelligence, Visualization, Trauma Symptoms Relief Skills, Resilience Skills, etc…. When you daily teach/model/practice these skills and join them with real life topics of relationships, how to handle an interview, how to budget, and more…we have formed a positive emotional relationship with our students. We have built trust…we have “built credit” with them. Now, the content of our academic curriculum has more meaning. Now we have built a greater level of “effort optimism”. When this is done school wide and district wide, we have created the momentum for real and lasting change.
**Every athletic program teaches/models/puts into action the same skills described above…but, in the context of sports. The value of meditation is valuable in personal life but equally valuable in sport’s life. The value of a morning routine to start your day (and an evening routine, also) has a high value for athletes. The list goes on and on regarding self-development skills and athletic performance. Elite athletes and teams (including most high powered private high schools) spend a lot of money for this service to gain an advantage (backed by science)…to be at their best. Athletics is a significant amount of students with a significant platform of influence. Why do we choose as public education to ignore this?
**In each school…in every district…work with every parent on how to practice self-development skills. At the bottom of this page is an illustration to show why this is vital and immediately necessary.
Generational trauma and its effects are real. Public Education is perfectly positioned to interrupt all types of negative cycles. Every parent workshop I have done over the past 4 years includes a huge portion of self-development. We reason together that it make more sense to work on ourselves…to model the behavior we want to see in our children…to improve our own lives so:
we don’t try and live our “best lives” through our child’s life.
we know HOW to model the behavior we want to see.
Parents are truly receptive to this type of workshop. We need to include all the parents in this curriculum and then provide support.
Again, Public Education is perfectly positioned to help create change for 50 million students and their parents. It’s past time to stop thinking small. 50 million young people growing up to care about themselves…to care about others. Another 50 million plus parents learning how to care about themselves…to care about others. That's really enough said.
Michael Gray is a School Climate Enhancer and a specialist in pointing student-athletes in the right direction academically.