Social Emotional Learning


Social Emotional Learning is the foundation for all other learning. Teaching students to regulate emotions and work together makes it possible to learn well.  From the beginning, the American educational system was seen as the great equalizer so that diverse immigrant populations could learn a common language, break down culture barriers and create literate American citizens.  Now the best practices in education have evolved to include the neuro-science of learning and the benefits that result from creating a positive social climate.  Educational Leaders have recommended that we move from a presentation of facts  and subsequent skill practice to the recognition that subjects must be meaningful, relevant to the community, and that personal engagement is required to learn.

We can no longer afford to be a competitive society where some win at the expense of others.  In order to have respect for diversity, and combine their talents, students must understand themselves, empathize with others, and collaborate.  S.E.L   is the science of creating a transformational environment for our students.

What the world community needs most is:  creative solutions to complex problems, ethical personal and social behavior and sustainable systems to save our planet.

C. Lee Guerette

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Transcending the roles

When you acknowledge a child by your present awareness of her or her particular bundle of energy, you are stepping out of the role of teacher to be human beings together.

“See me, recognize me as a special individual”, the child seems to say.

It is then that you can, if you are not standing in ego, see the power of their chakti (energetic center) and the bhavana ( The heart’s intention, what is manifesting)  in the consciousness of that being which is an expression of the universal. Authentic  means real and real means transcendent of the current role of teacher or student.  That moment is the most precious and powerful acknowledgement, a bow to the light within them. It is more potent than any lesson you may teach.


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Emotional Intelligence is…

Emotional Intelligence is the art of communicating your truth in a effective and tactful way. It is also receiving another’GidgeWorlds truth without becoming resentful of their awkwardness or style. In a way it listening for the meaning and intention of others not just the words.

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Your authentic self needs a challenge to grow. That’s why service is so important. When we make a little sacrifice by contributing work for the group as we ask the mind to focus on the job, resistance appears.
This resistance is composed of a collection of negative comments that often sound like:’ I’m no good at this, I hate this job, When will this end… I shouldn’t have to do this.’
This is actually identification as the “Doer” of the task who feels exploited . When resistance arises and you tell your authentic self to quietly attend, this set of obstructing ideas dissolves with your coming into the present moment. Generally the present is a simple awareness of the body, hand and mind intelligently guided by the needs of the task itself. The obstructing ideas cover up the sweet contentment that endures just beneath the cloud of resistance. We often think that we bring energy to the job and it drains us. In truth- the body mind responds to the needs in creation inviting us to join the dance and we are energized by our participation.


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Time Saving technology

I wanted to listen to Adashahti on Youtube for a little while this morning
So I found Youtube on my husband I pad and it asked that I log in to my account
I put in my E mail and password and then YouTube sent a verification message
to my mobile phone but my mobile phone was in my husband’s car so I didn’t get it
Then I checked the log in to send it to my alternative number at home
I ran to pick up the phone in the kitchen
Heard the message and one finger typed it in… it was wrong.
I forgot the number
Then I got a popup from the popular Youtube videos from “ASAPscience” about how mental practice doing something is nearly as powerful as physically doing something
Well , I liked that article so I tried to log in to facebook but it didn’t log because password and capital letters were out of sync.
Next – I gave up- picked up the book next to me and read a chapter from Adyashanti’s book.
True Meditation.

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Mirror Listening

Mirror Listening

This particular exercise was suggested by Dr. Susan Stillman of Six Seconds. Its usefulness is apparent and the lesson is fairly easy to execute although it requires at least 30 minutes doing a complete round.
The objective of the lesson is to have students observe the dynamics of communication. It contains elements of body language, emotional charge, word choice, tone, pace, inflection, the speaker’s perception and so on. It is a much evolved skill to listen cleanly and objectively.
Tell the class that they are going to doing a “Listening Mirrors “exercise – trying to be a Mirrors or video recording to the students speaking. They are to listen without interrupting the description from student designated as speakers and they need to observe and copy every detail of tone of voice, posture, and pace of words, word choice and emotional intensity. Then divide the class into teams of three students each by counting off: one, two, and three… and so on. In the first round, the students counted as ONE’s speak, TWOs listen, and the THREEs observe for accuracy. Then switch until each has had a turn at the different roles.
Ask the class to think about an event that made them very sad, angry or frustrated. Let the group process and visualize that moment in time for a minute or two. Then give time about 2 minutes for the Speakers to tell their story, 2 minutes for the Listeners to repeat the story, and lastly have the observers give feedback to on the accuracy of the repetition.
Because this lesson can get rather noisy you may want to send kids into corners, or the hallways to do it. Have the observers keep track of the time. Each complete set might be about 12 minutes- moving rather quickly. When the class has regrouped, have one member from each team – share out what they learned, heard or observed… Try to draw some conclusions or principles such as,
“It is important to _____” not change the words”
The tone of voice makes a difference.
An extension of this practice might be that – when a student is not explaining the story well and/or the repetition is not accurate – the observer asks a question to the speaker and or coaches the partners… to clarify the intent, meaning and intensity.

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How Mindfullness encourages Orientation

How “mindfulness” improves orientation
The pause practice, the stop exercise or a moment of REST at the beginning of a task provides a way to settle the nervous system, sets up orientation to time, place and offers mental clarity before the anticipated activity. When a student has a chance to clean the mental white board, it is an opportunity to dissolve residual tensions or attachments from the prior activity and simultaneously grounds the student in the here and now. During the STOP the body is used as an anchor for awareness and then students expands that awareness to include the play of air on the face, their weight in the chair, listening out into the room, including the group or any other sounds. This gives students a much needed and often welcomed respite. With the stop Exercise – there is a cessation of all social and cognitive demands – it is just REST. Mindfulness: encourages student to be awake to their current task and situation with a one or two minute pause at the beginning of a class. A sharply delineated end to that and a beginning to this gathers the fullness of potential energy and points it to now.

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Freedom in Service

Service provides us with a special kind of freedom. We can detach from the consequences of an action, do our best, perform with attention and love and then release the action back to sumashti. Service requires the unfolding of intelligence, skill and fearlessness. It gives us an opportunity to try new projects, or build pathways into talents and understanding ourselves because as the need presents itself we are invited to develop our capacity for love.

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Practicing Attention – there love arises

When a class is asked to do a hands on project you can practice an attention exercise such as “listen to the sound where the working surfaces meet” or  “watch the hands as they work.”  Any physical task can be used as a meditation especially when it requires hand eye co- ordination.  Projects such as building a boat, a model, gardening, washing dishes and so on can be done in a contemplative way such as “Doing one thing at a time .”

A sanskrit shruti reflects this principal in the following words.

“Where the hand goes, the eye follows; where the eye goes the mind follows; where the mind goes, the heart follows, and thus is born expression.”

“Where the hand goes, the eye goes
Where the eye goes, there the mind follows
Where the mind is, there the heart is also
Where the heart is, there love arises.”
(Nandikesvara – Abhinayadarpanam)

In experience, one usually finds that with careful attention love arises. I am reminded of Ray Bradbury’s classic  short story, The Electric Grandmother who asked, ‘ Love and attention, it’s the same thing isn’t it ? “

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From time to time we need to encourage ourselves with an appropriate quote or aphorism that addresses our particular challenge. This exercise is named “Illumination”. Have the kids pick a quote that is meaningful to them, something that gets the juices flowing. It should be quote or saying that is the first thing they see in the morning and sets the tone for the day. It needs to be a worthwhile goal not just a popular idiom. When I was in graduate school the first thing I chose to see was a poster that said CAN DO! I know that is less than elegant but it did provide a little juice for the day. Instruct your students to locate a quote, aphorism or homily that addresses something they find a challenge, a saying that will give them some strength. Then on the finest paper available, with their most elegant calligraphy have them copy the quote with the intention to post it where they see it often.

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