As DPS re-images, please keep student emotional growth in mind

I was reminded this morning, as a tweet came across my newsfeed from “DPScommunityDistrict”, and I went “who?” that DPS is currently re-structuring, re-imaging and I hope, re-evaluating how Detroit’s learning communities deliver education to students in the city. It’s a tough job for education leaders trying to hold together a system that has been pulling apart at the seams for many years. I choose to see this time in Detroit’s resurgence as an opportunity to be a model for education reform – I want DPSCD to be the example people use to when they talk about successful students, prepared for higher education, career path and LIFE. I want the spot light that is hot and centered on restaurant growth in the city, to shine brightly over public education, I want New Detroit Teachers in the city to be able to say with pride, I teach in Detroit, come look at what we’re doing. The fact that this new district allows for un-certified teachers doesn’t give me a lot of hope…

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Evidence Based Mental Health Interventions for K-12

I’ve spent the last few weeks neck deep in research on EBI’s (Evidence Based Interventions) for 9th-11th graders in urban schools, like DPS. Specifically, I am looking for programs that teach, or can enhance, social and emotional learning for at risk populations within these districts. Programs with focus on – emotion regulation, conflict resolution, cultivation of character strengthening emotions like empathy, compassion and gratitude. Over ALL I am in search of a program that centers on DBT (Dialectical Behavioral Therapy) and the integration of mindfulness practices into the classroom and campus environments. The DBT part is not an official part of my task, but I believe wholeheartedly in the DBT model and love teaching mindfulness to students.

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Manifestations of Depression in the Classroom

There is a difference between feeling sad, and feeling or experiencing Depression. Often, we use the term depressed to describe the way we feel in a singular moment “I’m depressed about the way my year book photo turned out”, or “I’m so depressed about the weight I’ve gained”. This term truly should only be used to describe a psychiatric disorder that causes severe, prolonged functional impairments that often negatively impact a child’s ability to develop academically, socially and emotionally. Feeling sad vs. having depression is like the difference between having a sprained wrist and a broken arm. While both painful, these two injuries are vastly different right?

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