Here we are at the beginning of our school year, and as Plato said, the beginning is the most important part of the work! A warm welcome to our new students and families and to those of you who are returning. This year, we are delighted to announce that we have a new senior school counsellor for our Grade 6 to 12; her name is Nancy Kartsonas and she brings a wealth of experience to her position. From Kindergarten to Grade 12, we are dedicated as a school to the promotion of students’ social and emotional well-being. Empowering students to be active participants in their education about mental health and to give them the tools to be able to self-regulate is crucial with respect to learning and cognition, as well as relationships and social interactions.
Last year, there were a variety of resources and links loosely arranged under the headings body, mind and spirit/heart, some of which are age-specific (i.e., Ellen the Invisible Caterpillar is a lovely story for parents to read to their children under the age of 8 who may have lost a sense of safety in their day-to-day experiences - establishment of a sense of safety is the first stage of support in parenting, teaching, and counselling). Of particular interest below is the podcast with Dr. Bréne Brown interviewing Dr. Marc Brackett, professor at Yale and the author of Permission to Feel: Unlocking the Power of Emotions to Help Our Kids, Ourselves, and Our Society Thrive - the episode focuses on emotional literacy, and as Brown says, “being able to recognize, name, and understand our feelings affects everything from learning, decision-making, and creativity, to relationships, health, and performance.” We need for children and adults to be able to distinguish feeling states and understand the vocabulary of emotions - it is the difference between what Brackett suggests is a rich emotional life and an impoverished one.