Crane School Blog: Focus on Learning

Featuring articles written by Crane Staffulty

For more information about Crane Country Day School, please contact admission@craneschool.org or call 805-969-7732 x127.

Social & Emotional Learning Chart (SEL)
Aaron Haddock

“Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.”

-James Baldwin in “Fifth Avenue, Uptown” published in Esquire, July 1960

Whether we are aware of it or not, children are always observing and imitating us. Through engagement with primary caregivers, children learn how to understand themselves, form healthy relationships, manage stress and conflict, pursue ethical solutions to problems, and empathize with others...

“Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.”

-James Baldwin in “Fifth Avenue, Uptown” published in Esquire, July 1960

Whether we are aware of it or not, children are always observing and imitating us. Through engagement with primary caregivers, children learn how to understand themselves, form healthy relationships, manage stress and conflict, pursue ethical solutions to problems, and empathize with others. When children receive consistent messages and opportunities for social-emotional learning across developmental contexts, it dramatically increases the likelihood that they will internalize these skills. 

The Collaborative for Academic and Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL) has identified five core social-emotional competencies: Self-Awareness, Self-Management, Social Awareness, Responsible Decision Making, and Relationship Skills. 

Since our children are learning from us anyway, why not become more intentional about modeling these skills? Here are a few concrete ways we, as adults, can model social-emotional skills for children. 

Self-Awareness

  • Notice and name emotional responses in the moment with curiosity instead of judgment. The simple act of recognizing and naming an emotion can reduce negative feelings. 
  • Reflect on emotions and their physical manifestation before taking deliberate action.
  • Modeling emotional awareness and control helps children learn how to effectively deal with frustration, stress, or uncertainty. 

Self-Management

  • Share stories about how you set and plan to achieve personal goals and overcome setbacks. 
  • Demonstrate self-regulating and calming strategies in age-appropriate ways (“I’m feeling a little frustrated, so I’m going to stop and take a breath before I decide what to do next.”).

Social Awareness

  • Exhibit a willingness to compromise and discuss times you had to work to find a mutually agreeable solution. 
  • Model appreciation and acceptance of others’ beliefs and cultural differences. 
  • Treat children’s teachers as partners who can support your parenting.

Responsible Decision-Making

  • Model problem-solving strategies, like gathering all relevant information and weighing options before drawing a conclusion or taking action.
  • Consider how your choices will be viewed through the lens of children.

Relationship Skills

  • Model fairness, respect, and appreciation for others.
  • Try to mend ruptures in relationships and be willing to apologize.

Aaron Haddock
School Psychologist

Most Recent Posts

Outdoor Learning Space

Crane School’s 11-acre campus is most definitely a highlight for those who visit. The balance of nature and buildings, and the natural flow as one moves through campus is welcoming and enchanting. Students, parents, and Staffulty (staff and faculty) can all agree that the campus is thoughtfully designed and carefully maintained. When asking Staffulty about their favorite spot on campus, the vast majority name an outdoor space, but as there are so many to choose from, they don’t all share the same favorite. They can all pinpoint just what it is that makes it their favorite:

“Walking through Crane’s amazing garden is the best way to start my day. It’s a beautiful reminder to take in the beauty that’s all around us.

“Our fields are really magical spaces...”

Choice Voice Image

Choice at Crane School is seen at each grade level in varying forms and amounts. It could be Choice Time at the end of the day in kindergarten, Choice Boards in first grade for extra learning opportunities, Passion Projects in fourth grade, the seventh grade mentor project (QED), or an eighth grader’s public speaking topic. No matter what age, choice brings excitement. Choice is like the shiny, colorful bait that lures the fish and reels it in toward the ultimate goal - in this case, learning. When it comes to our Crane motto of rigor and joy, choice is the joy piece that makes deep, meaningful learning so much fun and memorable...

2020-09-15-FonLGoal

The beginning of the school year brings excitement, stirs up nerves, and offers a fresh start. There is anticipation of the new possibilities and seeing familiar faces again. Some nerves in the form of butterflies appear as students wonder about the unknowns. It is certainly a new beginning for all, which can be recognized by a pristine white school planner, the colorful stylus in a school supplies case, or a new name tag to make a student’s learning space their own...

Reinhart Koselleck

Of the many odd things that I studied in graduate school, none was more engaging to me than the intersections between the history of medicine and the history of political thought. At the time I thought this was interesting on its own merits. I could never have guessed that in 2020, the politics of medicine would become critically relevant. I should like to reflect one those intersections and to explain how they inform my instruction of students in United States history...