Start With the Heart: Igniting Hope in Schools Through Social and Emotional Learning
Publication Year: 2019
Start with the heart to build a school climate in which achievement will flourish. You can build an empathetic school culture that promotes genuine acceptance of one another, an appreciation for diversity, and an intrinsic desire to contribute and grow academically–a school environment that is inviting, positive, and engaging! In this easy-to-read, inspiring book, educational consultant and former high school principal Michelle Trujillo shows how positive school culture is anchored in social and emotional learning as a way of being. Through explanation, personal anecdotes, and the demonstration of problem-solving through intentional connection, she guides educators to explore their own SEL aptitudes. In doing so, she inspires a schoolwide investment in a philosophy of connection–with students and each other–that ignites a climate in which every individual ...
- Front Matter
- Back Matter
- Subject Index
- Introduction • Social, Emotional, and Academic Development: A Way of Being
- Chapter 1: It’s About the People: A “Meeting Them Where They Are” Mentality
- Chapter 2: A Foundation of Love: 7 Keys to Connection
- Chapter 3: Self-Awareness: Who Am I? An Essential Question
- Chapter 4: Self-Management: Feeling It, Without Losing It
- Chapter 5: Social Awareness: Seeing From the Inside Out
- Chapter 6: Relationship Skills: The Significance of Being Seen and Heard
- Chapter 7: Responsible Decision Making: The Power of Choice
- Chapter 8: Modeling: It Starts With Us
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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Names: Trujillo, Michelle L., 1967- author.
Title: Start with the heart : igniting hope in schools through social and emotional learning / Michelle L. Trujillo.
Description: Thousand Oaks, California : Corwin, 2019. | Includes bibliographical references and index.
Identifiers: LCCN 2018048435 | ISBN 9781544352824 (pbk. : alk. paper)
Subjects: LCSH: Affective education. | Social learning. | Self-consciousness (Awareness) | Teachers—Conduct of life. | Teacher-student relationships.
Classification: LCC LB1072 .T78 2019 | DDC 370.15/34—dc23 LC record available at https://lccn.loc.gov/2018048435
This book is printed on acid-free paper.
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What Your Colleagues Are Saying . . .[Page i]
“I have been involved in the implementation of Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) in schools for many years. What I loved about this book is that it takes the theory and research behind SEL and puts heart and relevance behind it. It not only gives practical advice and suggestions, but also serves as a kind and gentle way for the readers to reflect on their own practice and work to grow their own social and emotional skills. I have already recommended it to classroom teachers and am envisioning how I will use it for the next professional development activity I will be facilitating, as this book can be relevant to classroom teachers, administrators, and anyone in a school setting who works with kids. The title is Start With the Heart and I feel like the heart of the author, her love for students, and her passion for this work comes through on every page.”Victoria Blakeney, Director of Student SupportRenton School District, WA
“Educators have known that building students’ social emotional skills (SES) is critical to their future success. It’s time for schools to embrace and understand the significance of being deliberate in incorporating SES skills in their classrooms and schools. Hats off to Michelle L. Trujillo for writing a book that walks teachers and schools through a process that shows how it can be successfully done.”Kim Campbell, Middle School Teacher and Dean of StudentsHopkins West Junior High, Minnetonka, MN
“Start With the Heart is a must-read for teachers seeking research-based practices that expand the social, emotional, and academic development of their students.”Steve Canavero, PhD, Superintendent of Public InstructionNevada Department of Education
“Michelle L. Trujillo skillfully blends research, evidence, anecdotes, and opportunities for readers’ personal reflections. She has produced an excellent resource that appeals to the intellectual mind, common sense, and the reader’s heart. This fantastic book separates itself from others by not only backing up claims with evidence and research, but also facilitating the reader in arriving at those very same conclusions through logic, common sense, and personal reflection into his or her own life experience with social and emotional learning. It has been said that you must touch the heart before you can teach the mind. This book does both.”[Page ii]Gregg Iha, District Resource TeacherHawaii Department of Education
“This is a powerful and moving resource and will inspire every educator who wants to make a difference!”Eric Jensen, Author and Educational ConsultantJensen Learning
“Chock-full of validating and affirming statements for best practice when supporting students who have experienced trauma, this book presents great probing questions to use with staff. Michelle L. Trujillo provides powerful questions that support leaders in framing meaningful and reflective conversations. After reading Chapter 2, I used some of those questions the next week. I needed this read after a busy start to the school year. Our students need us to be our best selves!
As a fellow continuation high school principal, I read this book and felt heard and seen. The work, the reminders, and belief systems outlined by Michelle inspire me to keep learning, improving, and implementing social and emotional learning for students and staff.”Amy Lloyd, PrincipalAdelante Continuation High School, CA
“Through touching anecdotes and practical activities, Trujillo’s strengths-based approach conveys feasible strategies for improving schools: start with positive regard, teach the social-emotional skills we want to see, and model these skills for students and colleagues.”Kent McIntosh, Professor, University of Oregon
“We are finally beginning to recognize that schools cannot focus on academics alone. The success of children is tied to their social and emotional development. This important book describes what schools can do to address the needs of the whole child. For educators and others who seek to ensure that schools are able to respond to the needs of our children, this book is an invaluable resource.”Pedro A. Noguera, PhD, Distinguished Professor of EducationUCLA Graduate School of Education & Information Studies
“This is a very important book. It is well written, insightful, practical, and consistent with research on the science of learning and development. Start With the Heart strategically incorporates the voices of students and provides readers with opportunities to reflect so that they can embed social emotional learning in their practices and ‘way of being.’ Learning and teaching is hard—particularly when students face many challenges. However, students and teachers can succeed; this book illustrates how we can create safe, engaging, equitable learning opportunities for all students.”[Page iii]David Osher, Vice President and Institute FellowAmerican Institutes for Research
“Michelle L. Trujillo brings a scientifically-based framework to this work, as well as a strong social and emotional component, both of which are so important to our schools. Michelle is able to bridge the gap so all stakeholders understand the impact that creating a social and emotional learning environment has on academic achievement.”Dr. Greta Peay, Chief Officer, Instructional ServicesClark County School District, NV
“Michelle L. Trujillo takes you on a journey with Social and Emotional Learning to make a difference: not like on a train ride that keeps you on track, but more like an airplane flight that takes you to places you may never have been before. Her Reflection Pages, Suggestions From Students, and Study Questions, peppered with a strong dose of Hope, guide you toward your destination to becoming a better educator. Enjoy the ride!”Dr. Stephen Sroka, President of Health Education Consultants and Founder of “The Power of One”[Page iv]
“Michelle L. Trujillo writes compellingly about leading with heart and intentionality toward a systematic approach to social and emotional learning (SEL). She elevates the critical voices of students and shares concrete strategies to help educators create schools that simultaneously meet the social, emotional, and economic needs of young people and adults.”Karen Van Ausdal, Senior Director of Practice The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL)
This book is written for my husband, David
it is inspired by ALL who are ASPIRE.
Preface: Ignite Hope Now![Page xi]
Education is our calling
In our students, we believe
We’re giving everything we’ve got
Yet still, some don’t achieve
We see kids living in adversity
In the light of each tomorrow
Experiences we can’t imagine
Such hurt and fear and sorrow
Academics are important,
Yes, test scores must be improved
But kids will find it tough to learn
If they are hungry, hurting, or abused
So much falls upon our shoulders
More placed on our plates each day
Yet in our hands, our students rest
We can help them find their way
As we embark upon our lessons
Of reading, writing, science, and math
We can ignite hope for our young people
If we place character upon their path
We can teach them through our actions,
To be human above all things
To serve others with love and integrity
And feel the joy and hope this brings
And hope is certainly essential
In the lives of all our kids
But it is up to us to ignite it
To light the flame that lives within
It starts with understanding
That their lives are not like ours
We must meet them where they are today
Find their strengths, then raise the bar
It is not up to us to “fix them”
Or correct what’s tough at home
But we can teach them to accept themselves
And help them know they’re not alone
We can love them and respect them,
Teach them to act responsibly,
We can model compassion and acceptance
And challenge them to think more critically
It’s not up to us to change them,
Rather, the environment in which they learn
Let our classrooms be their safe place,
To question, explore, discern[Page xii]
We can truly make a difference
Starting with the Heart, our fervent vow
And with SEL as the foundation
We can ignite HOPE in our schools now!
About the Author
First, to you, the reader: Thank you for investing in this journey with me. It was important to me to write a book that would speak to your heart, while providing you with valuable information and practical strategies. If I accomplished this goal, it was due only to the support and contribution of the following people:
- Sharalee Jorgensen, godmother, aunt, and editor extraordinaire! This book took shape, only because of you.
- Judy Williams, my mom, my friend. You made yourself available to read and reread at any given moment. Thanks, to you and Dad, and Jaime, too, for always being there!
- Rene Townsend, author, former principal, and superintendent. Your “in the trenches” insight was invaluable!
- Jessica Allan, Lucas Schleicher, Mia Rodriguez, and Tori Mirsadjadi. In my eyes, you are Corwin’s finest editing team. Thank you for your belief in this book from the start! And Amy Marks, you are something special. Thank you!
- Telsche, Ashlee, Alecia, Eric, Krystal, Nick, McKayla, Charlie, Cisco, Kat, Sarah, Katie, Callie, and Bryan’s mom, Shirley. Your willingness to contribute to and support this project touched my heart and made this book come alive. Thank you.
- David Trujillo, my husband and best friend, and our children, Corey and Dani. You are the joy of my heart! Thank you all for your belief in me and your constant support, insight, and encouragement. I love you.
Many of the anecdotes that I shared throughout the book were based on students who have touched my heart and made me a better teacher and leader. Names that I acknowledged here are real, but there are others for whom I changed names or left unnamed to protect their privacy. Finally, as you could tell from reading this book, I believe in love. All glory goes to the original source of Love: to my God, Thank You.[Page 144]Publisher’s Acknowledgments
- Melissa A. Campbell
- 4th Grade Mathematics Teacher
- Williams Avenue Elementary School
- Fort Payne, Alabama
- Dr. Ursula Harris
- Jackson Public Schools
- Jackson, Mississippi
- Linda Keteyian
- Detroit Public Schools
- Detroit, Michigan
- Saundra Mouton
- International Baccalaureate Coordinator
- Briarmeadow Charter School
- Houston, Texas
- Dr. Tanna H. Nicely
- Executive Principal
- South Knoxville Elementary
- Knoxville, Tennessee
- Ellen S. Perconti
- Mary M. Knight and Grapeview School Districts
- Elma, Washington
- Cathy Sosnowski
- Central Connecticut State University
- New Britain, Connecticut
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