BY Meghan Brown
West Tisbury School (Martha’s Vineyard)
I would like to create a classroom library of social and emotional health books for both teacher and students. I work with all students in grades 5-8, specifically with the Special Ed population. Currently we have no social emotional library for reference and I would like to begin one. I believe social health is just as important as academic achievement. Students must use social thinking constantly at school, to work effectively as part of a group, stay on task, figure out the expected times to talk in class, and share space well with others in the classroom, cafeteria, and on the playground. Social thinking is also critical to succeed in individualized academic tasks, such as reading a book. Social thinking is required when reading stories to understand the deeper meaning behind the actions of the characters and their relationships. If a student has poor social thinking abilities, he or she will struggle to take the perspective of characters, figure out how they are affected by others, and understand why characters act and feel as they do.
How will the project be evaluated (e.g. how will you gauge its success)
If teachers and students are taught social and emotional health skills, success should be found in every area of the school. Academic achievement should go up, engagement in school should rise, and bullying and other socially unacceptable behaviors should decline.
Benefit to the students and the school
Improving a person’s social thinking begins with improving self-awareness. Only as individuals gain awareness of their own thoughts, emotions, and intentions can they become increasingly aware of the thoughts, emotions, intentions, and actions of others. As a result, they are better able to use the information they’ve gained from their social thinking to inform many things they do throughout the day. Improving a person’s social thinking will help improve their social skills (social behavior), reading comprehension, written expression, narrative language, ability to work as part of a group, ability to make and keep friends, etc. Much of what we do in school, at work, and as part of the community requires understanding the perspectives of other people. It all requires social thinking.
Timeline of Project (when will you do the project, if applicable)
Materials will be purchased immediately.