We equip teachers with the tools to teach resilience.
What Does a social and emotional Curriculum look like?
When we look at a traditional academic curriculum, the focus is on hard skills. A social and emotional curriculum helps cultivate the ability to self-regulate emotions and become resilient in the face of adversity. We refer to these as the soft skills. Though they are known as "soft", they are not any less important. These particular skills speak to the needs of our student population.
Within our curriculum we focus on the following modules: Mindfulness, Positive Psychology, Emotional Freedom Technique with Harmonetiks, Metacognition and Sensory Tools, Positive Self-Talk. We refer to the skills we teach as "tools" in everyone's personal "toolbox". The intention behind the toolbox is for students to feel they have all the resources they need to be resilient.
The Pillars of ASSET
Awareness uses Mindfulness which works to build a student's self-regulation muscles. We find that when students are able to observe their thoughts and actions through mindful practices, their actions are less driven by emotions and instead they become responsive rather than reactive.
Self-Efficacy promotes students' reflecting on themselves and then setting goals for what they desire to achieve in life. We believe that our students forget to look at the "bigger picture" too often. We set aside time and built questions to engage students in accomplishing their goals.
Science of Happiness uses Positive Psychology which is defined as "the scientific study of what makes us thrive". Some of the exercises we incorporate based on Positive Psychology are gratitude lists, positive habit forming challenges and random acts of kindness.
Exploration encourage students to keep a "beginner's mind" with these tools. We know high school students don't always want to practice mindfulness or positive psychology, but we reiterate to keep an open mind and keep exploring what these tools have to offer.
Touch and connection is a multiple-purpose pillar. The element of touch engages Emotional Freedom Technique with Harmonetiks which is a favorite tool amongst our students as it quickly works to relieve stress and anxiety. We also work to build positive relationships amongst students and create a sense of community.
During the fall 2015 trimester, a class of 17 students actively participated in the ASSET program and ranked it a 4 or above (on a scale of 1-7), 77% of those students had a correlation between their time in the ASSET program and improvement in their grades compared to their previous trimester grades. Based on the two sample t-test, the positive change in their grades are statistically significant.
After receiving ASSET everyday for two weeks, on average, an entire 11th grade class experienced half-a-grade-point improvement compared to their pre-ASSET assessment grades.
How do high school teachers implement these skills into the classroom?
ASSET provides teachers with easy-to-use lesson plans so they are seamlessly able to incorporate social and emotional tools into their everyday lessons.
Teachers then begin their classes with five to ten minutes of ASSET. This creates a culture of wellbeing within the classroom as well as reduces students' stress levels during class. We also work with schools to offer ASSET as an elective where forty minutes is spent exploring these tools in-depth.
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