In Fall 2015, I presented PD on School Culture and Climate (see below), with a focus on the neuroscience that explains many of the behaviors we were seeing in our students. I have been passionate about this topic for as long as I can remember, and continue to be motivated as my school district has taken on the Whole Child initiative with full force. I attended the "Paths to Potential: Building Resilience" conference today at Stockton University's SRI & ETTC, and am convinced, now more than ever, that students cannot move forward until their trauma is recognized, addressed, and treated. Just as suicide prevention, dyslexia, and blood-borne pathogen training is required in New Jersey, the state should focus on creating Trauma Informed Schools.
Michael McKnight, Atlantic County Education Specialist, presented on this topic. He argued that we should integrate what we know of neuroscience, psychology, and pedagogy in a "neuroeducation." One quote (from Dr. Nicholas J. Long) he used struck a chord with me: "The problems kids cause are not the cause of their problems." As a teacher, and as an aspiring administrator, this is the core of my philosophy in why I build relationships with my students, and in how I discipline. The two cannot be separated.
I intend this blog to be a reflection journal of sorts, on topics such as teaching, leadership, pedagogy, and tacos.