Hacking School Culture: Designing Compassionate Classrooms

Hacking School Culture: Designing Compassionate Classrooms

by Angela Stockman, Ellen Feig Gray


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If you could teach all kids empathy, tolerance, and compassion, wouldn't teaching all things be easier? Bullying prevention and character building programs are deepening our awareness of how today’s kids struggle and how we might help, but many agree: They aren’t enough to create school cultures where students and staff flourish. This inspired Angela Stockman and Ellen Feig Gray to begin seeking out systems and educators who were getting things right.

Read it today—fix it tomorrow

Their experiences taught them that the real game changers are using a human-centered approach. Inspired by other design thinkers, many teachers are creating learning environments where seeking a greater understanding of themselves and others is the highest standard. They’re also realizing that compassion is best cultivated in the classroom, not the boardroom or the auditorium. It’s here that we learn how to pull one another close. It’s here that we begin to negotiate the distances between us, too.

Ready to begin but uncertain how? Here’s what you’ll find inside:

  • Protocols that inspire strengths-focused teaching and learning
  • Tools for starting hard conversations, coaching critical questioning, and sustaining respectful communication
  • Experiential learning models that improve school culture
  • Approaches that encourage activism while enabling people to resolve conflicts peacefully
  • Design thinking strategies that empower human-centered decision-making

Compassionate classrooms are built one learner at a time. Be that learner. It’s time.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781948212045
Publisher: Times 10 Publications
Publication date: 05/05/2018
Series: Hack Learning Series , #19
Pages: 198
Sales rank: 284,678
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Angela Stockman is a writer, teacher, and professional learning service provider. Over the last decade, she's supported teachers of writing in over seventy different school districts throughout the United States and Canada. Angela's areas of expertise include curriculum design, instructional coaching, formative assessment design, standards-based grading, and pedagogical documentation. The author of Make Writing: 5 Strategies That Turn Writer's Workshop into a Maker Space, Angela founded The WNY Young Writers' Studio, a community of writers and teachers of writing in western New York State.
She enjoys helping other school and community leaders design, launch, and sustain similar spaces within and beyond the four walls of their schools. Angela has taught at the graduate level, she has supervised student teachers, and she has lea curriculum and assessment design initiatives inside of multiple university departments. She also works with business and nonprofit leaders to craft and share meaningful narratives about the organizations they serve. You may find Angela on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+. She also blogs in her own space: www.angelastockman.com.

Ellen Feig Gray began her career forty years ago as developmental psychology researcher, and since then has been applying relevant findings from positive psychology, communications, and the science of happiness and well-being, to support parents and others who raise and educate children and teens. She has used her expertise to advocate for young people in various ways, including developing policies and practices for television broadcasts, advertising guidelines, marketing communications campaigns, as well as working with nonprofit organizations. As founder of Parent with Perspective she provides practical wisdom and expert advice, through coaching, workshops, talks, blog posts and articles. Connect with Ellen at www.parentwithperspective.com and on Twitter @EllenFeigGray.

Table of Contents

Preface 5

Introduction 7

One Learner, One Teacher, One Classroom at a Time

Hack 1: Grow Your Own 14

Developing Self-Compassion First

Hack 2: Seek Diverse Perspectives 33

Becoming Other-Centered

Hack 3: Craft Your Classroom Culture 49

Shaping Attitudes, Values, Beliefs, and Behaviors

Hack 4: Distinguish Blame from Response Ability 66

Building Equity

Hack 5: Extinguish Shame 80

Reframing Vulnerability

Hack 6: Design Curriculum that Cultivates Compassion 97

Beginning with Empathy

Hack 7: Embrace Experiential Instruction 111

Living Our Learning

Hack 8: Teach Them to Talk Back 125

Coaching Critical Questioning Skills

Hack 9: Inspire Activism 138

Teaching for Social Justice

Hack 10: Resolve Conflicts 151

Restoring Compassion with Protocols

Conclusion 167

Be the Change

Other books in the Hack Learning Series 171

Hack Learning Resources 187

About the Authors 188

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