In her work as a school counselor with young children and tweens/teens, Dusha Cecil wishes her district had used Generation Mindful social and emotional learning (SEL) materials years ago, to develop the language and “permission to feel” for a diverse population of students starting in preschool when they were ages three and four.
In this video, Ms. Cecil shares her experience of using GEN:M tools for early emotional education in the classroom setting:
Among other experiences, Ms. Cecil shares her experience of working with young students, and the many black male teens she supports in therapy that struggle to be sensitive or express their feelings.
Using Generation Mindful tools to "have these conversations and create safe spaces for children makes them feel safe at school, makes them want to learn from their teachers, makes them want to do better, and encourages them to start envisioning their future."
She has tremendous hope for GEN:M tools to lessen the school-to-prison pipeline by giving children of color, particularly boys, a voice and the permission and space they need to express their feelings starting in preschool.
Colby Heckendorn, the former principal of Patrick Henry Downtown Academy in the City of St. Louis, and the Executive Director & Co-Founder of Atlas Public Schools oversaw the implementation of GEN:M products and curriculum with his diverse staff of early childhood and elementary educators and students at Patrick Henry Downtown Academy.
In his letter of support for Generation Mindful, Heckendorn shared how his diverse team of 11 K to 5th-grade educators felt the tools seamlessly embedded SEL into their everyday classroom activities.
"Generation Mindful provides amazing programs and tools that can help educators seamlessly embed SEL into their everyday practices. I have seen first hand how easy it was for our teachers to utilize these resources and have been astonished by our results."
- Colby Heckendorn, Executive Director & Co-Founder Atlas Public Schools
Diversity, equity, inclusion, and amplifying voices of color are priorities for Generation Mindful.
There is a connection between punishment-based discipline, lost class time, and the many inequitable early childhood education suspensions happening on a daily basis that fuel the school-to-prison pipeline.
GEN:M tools educate rather than punish children who are still learning to regulate, strengthening social-emotional skills for a lifetime of health and well-being. They are inclusive, easy to use, and foster a supportive classroom climate for caring teachers to establish trusting relationships where students can feel emotionally safe, motivated, challenged, and have a sense of belonging.
The tools complement the Collaborative and Proactive Solutions Model developed by Dr. Ross Greene - driven by the belief that “kids do well if they can.” When maladaptive behaviors occur, educators use time-ins to identify and build lagging skills rather than punitive methods such as time-outs, or being sent out of the classroom.
To learn more about using GEN:M tools to support social and emotional learning (SEL) in the classroom with the opportunity to bridge the learning into the home, visit here.