The non-profit organization has updated its ‘My Best Me’ curriculum to better reflect and address the skills children of all ages and backgrounds need to master in today’s post-pandemic world. The global health crisis focused educators’ minds on the importance of strong character development and resiliency – traits that are pre-requisite to academic achievement and students’ well-being.
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Hope Rising’s revised SEL curriculum, which includes applications of positive psychology and the science of hope, is premised on the notion that it is more sensible to teach resilience to children than to wait until – as adults – a kind of resilience is forced upon them. By furnishing them with a well-developed emotional vocabulary, Hope Rising’s lesson plans give children the tools to recognize, categorize, and express their emotions – critical for overcoming difficult challenges and building healthy character. They learn that when they talk about their internal conflicts, they can make move toward a resolution – while still being connected to others.
Parents and educators can download a sample lesson plan at https://info.hoperisingsel.com/social-emotional-learning-sample
The tenets of SEL dovetail with the pedagogical theory of how and why to build up resiliency in children from a young age. Caring parents instinctively want to rescue their children when they struggle. But by doing so, many experts agree, they are conveying the wrong message: that the child is helpless or cannot be trusted to figure out the problem on his or her own. A resilient child, on the other hand, has learned to recognize that when minor problems arise, they can often solve them on their own – and feel good about having done so.
Hope Rising’s curriculum, which includes lessons for every grade level through high school, emphasizes that life is not a zero-sum game – that is, children are taught that even bad situations can be improved upon, adapted to, or seen through a different perspective. Complaining, worrying, and avoiding unpleasantness accomplish nothing – and resilient kids have learned to understand this.
The goal of Hope Rising’s ‘My Best Me’ curriculum is to foster a respectful, open relationship between students and teachers. The curriculum is designed to provide instructors and students with a forum for discussion of personal development issues that are not appropriate for other class periods or subjects. Teachers can pair these lessons with other subjects and current events.
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