How One Elementary School Integrates Social-Emotional Skills in the Classroom

Teachers at Lakewood Elementary find innovative ways to incorporate social-emotional learning (SEL) into regular lessons.

By Lorea Martinez, Hanna Melnick

At Lakewood Elementary, fourth- and fifth-grade students are reading a book and discussing the plot. One of the students suddenly raises a flag: He is keeping track of how long kids have been sitting (45 minutes). Teacher Kevin Davis says, “Time for a break! That sounds like a good idea.” He projects a video on the whiteboard, and students jog in place while shouting out answers to quiz questions. Once the activity is done, students celebrate: “We did it!”

These types of activities, called “brain breaks” or “energy boosters,” last from one to five minutes and incorporate movement. Since our brains are wired for novelty, these short activities refresh students’ thinking by breaking up predictable, repetitive processes and information. Studies suggest that regular physical activity like this supports healthy child development by improvin…

Remembering Jean Vanier: The Living Saint

Canadian Catholic philosopher, theologian and humanitarian Jean Vanier, a man who dedicated his life to helping those less fortunate, passed away in Paris this May at the age of 90. Founder of L'Arche, a federation of communities spread over 37 countries for people with disabilities, as well as of Faith and Light, with similar works in more than 80 countries, he has written 30 books on religion, disability, normality, success and tolerance.

What Happens When You Educate Liberals About White Privilege?

According to a new study, learning about white privilege doesn't actually make liberals more empathic toward poor blacks.

By Zaid Jilani

What is “white privilege”? The term, coined by feminist activist Peggy McIntosh in the 1980s, refers to advantages that white people, on average, have in American society.

The goal of activists and educators who use the phrase is to educate Americans about how whites are born with benefits not afforded to people of minority ethnic backgrounds. Can you turn on the television and see people of your race widely represented? Do you tend to see racism only as individual acts of meanness, not as signs of systematic dominance over your group? Do you never worry about being followed or harassed when shopping? Those are signs of white privilege, according to McIntosh.

But a recent paper published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General suggests that the idea of white privilege may have an unexpected drawback: It can reduce the empathy among some fo…

Welcome to Fearless Dialogues. Are You Ready for Change?

Gregory Ellison II founded the non-profit organization Fearless Dialogues in 2013. In just 6 years they have worked with over 50,000 people worldwide. Fearless Dialogues provides safe space for seeing and hearing those who have been overlooked, forming unlikely alliances and engaging in hard conversations about difficult subjects like racism, classism, and community violence. Ellison is an associate professor of pastoral care and counseling at the Candler School of Theology. His research focuses on caring with marginalized populations, seeing pastoral care as social activism, and 20th and 21st century mysticism.

Scott Fry is a Loving Earthling

What would business look like if instead of the bottom line being bigger is better, or how can we make more money - different questions were asked that are based on relationships to the people, to families, community, that are looking at how we can heal the land, and honor the sacred? Join Nathan Scolero from Dumbo Feather magazine in this phenomenal story of Scott Fry and his journey to creating his business Loving Earth.

What's the Link Between Personality and Health?

1/11 ExtrovertedResearchers can’t explain why exactly, but people who socialize more often appear to have stronger immune systems. In one study, people who said they spent more time around others were shown to be less likely to catch a cold. Swipe to advance 2/11 NarcissisticMen who feel they deserve special treatment and tend to take advantage of other people may be more likely to have certain health conditions, including heart problems. This may be because researchers have found that they have unusually high levels of the stress-related chemical cortisol in their systems, even when they’re not in stressful situations. This isn’t the case for narcissistic women. Swipe to advance 3/11 OptimisticA positive outlook may boost your overall physical health. And if you do become ill, that attitude may help you deal with it and have a better quality of life. Research shows that optimists may be more likely to accept their illnesses and try to find the humor in difficult situations. Swipe to advance 4…

Skateboard Parks and the Power of Relationship

Eight years ago, Ulrike Reinhard flew to India for on a business trip. Instead of flying back home, however, she "got stuck" and decided to make India her home. In this interview, Ulrike describes how she was driven to build a skateboard park in the middle of a poverty-ridden village in Madhya Pradesh. Many projects are built with fences and "Do Not Enter" signs surrounding it; in contrast, this skateboard park welcomes anyone who wishes to enjoy it. This surreal space has attracted media attention and many visitors to the village, helping to spur economic growth and giving children of the area something that empowers them. Ulrike describes her inspiration for the project, her other fascinating experiments in community building, and the power of relationships to make change.

A Better Way to Develop Your Child’s Confidence

Instead of praising children to build up their self-esteem, they need relief from too much self-focus.

By Eileen Kennedy-Moore

A middle school girl I worked with finally found the courage to tell me her deepest fear. Her body was so tense, it was practically vibrating.

“What if I grow up to be ordinary?” she said.

The fear this child expressed—that she may not be that special—is one that I see often in my work as a therapist. Somehow this girl, and many other clients I’ve seen, equated self-worth with being impressive.

I frequently hear from parents that their kids struggle with low self-esteem. Their children might seem outwardly confident, but they are suffering because of their unrelenting preoccupation with judging themselves. Parents worry when they see their children crying over a less-than-perfect grade, fretting that something they said might seem weird, franticly avoiding any situation where they might not instantly excel, or viciously criticizing themselves when they fall short i…

Heroines of Health

This moving documentary shares "three of the many untold stories that hold the key to unlocking better health for more people around the world." The three women, one a medical doctor and teacher from India, another a midwife assistant from Indonesia, and the third the director of a community health center in Kenya, though worlds apart, share a common journey to bring hope to women and children in their communities. Their individual commitments to follow their dreams of helping others to live longer and better have involved separation from family members, long travel, countless hours of study and hard work, and many other challenges. The looks on their faces and on the faces of those whose lives they have enriched speak volumes about the value of their sacrifices and of the work of their hearts and hands.

Ask Yourself This Question About Your Workplace

Cindy Elkins, a former director at Genentech, shares how cultivating a culture of gratitude helped the company thrive during tough times.

By Cindy Elkins

Happy Again: How To Deal With Uncertainty (Encore)

How do you respond when you feel threatened or defensive? Our Happiness Guinea Pig, writer Wajahat Ali, discovers a way to keep himself anchored amidst the challenges and chaos of life.

JOLENTA GREENBERG When my husband Brad and I got married, right afterwards, he went and lived on the road for a year because he’s a news reporter and he was covering the election. We had a plan that when he was done covering the election we were going to go on a big trip together to sort of reunite, just get some alone time together, reconnect. And it was gonna be amazing.

We decided to go to Argentina because that was a dream of both of ours. Brad got very into researching and planning, and he was so amped on this trip. I was like, ‘All right, great. Like run with it, dude,’ and I sort of sat back and let him plan everything and every time he talked about a leg of the trip he wanted to plan, I’d be like, ‘Sure, sure, let’s do it. Everything sounds awesome.’ I didn’t really think about it much.

When we go…