As our motto says, "together we teach and guide learners to develop academic achievement and social responsibility." How do we focus on Social Responsibility? As a community, we focus on Social Responsibility through the Montessori Philosophy and Global Citizenship, the use of Restorative Practices, Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS), the Zones of Regulation, and Culturally Responsive Teaching. Social Responsibility is the way we interact with each other as humans, and the earth, both inside and outside of the school building. We understand that children learn so much more than reading, writing, and math at school; they are also learning how to become kind humans and good citizens.
Global citizenship is an important part of the Montessori philosophy. It is about being part of a growing world community. It is about choosing to contribute to making the world, or global, community a better place. In a Montessori community, children learn to envision the world with a higher sense of awareness, learning to form global connections. In a Montessori classroom, guides nurture this sense of world awareness through demonstrations that highlight the connections between local and global. Beginning in Children's House (pre-K-K), children explore geography and different cultures, develop a universal vision, understand who they are as individuals as a part of the human species and a member of society, build foundations towards a harmonious society, cultivate an appreciation for all life on earth, develop a sense moral responsibility to protect humankind and life on earth from destructive actions, and learn to successfully navigate problems in a peaceful way.
PBIS (Positive Behavior Intervention & Supports) is an implementation framework for the use of evidence-based prevention and intervention practices that support the academic, social, emotional, and behavioral success of all students.
PBIS implementation involves explicitly prompting, modeling, practicing, and encouraging positive social skills across settings and individuals. When students are taught to effectively use social skills with others, learning environments and relationships are described as more positive, safer, and more trusting and respectful.
What is Restorative Practices?
Restorative Practices is a way of being in community with each other that fosters connection and a sense of belonging. It is based on principles and processes that emphasize the importance of positive, healthy relationships. At Cherokee Heights, our goal is for children, families, and educators to be happy to come to school every day and feel that they are conneccted to each other through healthy relationships. We build these relationships through the use of the Circle process, and when relationships have been harmed, Restorative Practices offers a pathway to repair the relationship. Mistakes are an opportunity for growth and learning, and Restorative Practices promotes problem-solving, inclusiveness, and relationship building rather than exclusionary punishment which does not offer a pathway for learning from mistakes. Childrena nd adults in communities implementing Restorative Practices show improved empathy, kindness, collaboration, communication, and problem solving skills.
Zones of Regulation
Zones of Regulation is a system for children to learn to identify and name their feelings and develop tools to respond to "big" emotions. Children are better able to stay in the learning portions of their brain, rather than the reacting portions of their brain, when they can identify when they begin to feel frustrated, sad, hurt, angry, or any of the other emotions that might impact their ability to remain calm. Children are taught language about emotions and a variety of calming tools each month that help them stay in or get back to the "green zone" - the learning centers of the brain.
Culturally Responsive Teaching
Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain, written by Zaretta Hammond, is a guide to help educators understand the many ways culture impacts learning. In her book, Hammond speaks directly to collectivism versus individualism and the way that positive relationships enhance the brain's ability to learn. Hammond notes that humans are "hardwired" for connection, which guides our work as educators at Cherokee Heights. Children and adults in our community are loved and valued for who they are authentically.
Social Responsibility Book of the Month
The November Book of the Month is The Power of One: Every Act of Kindness Counts by Trudy Ludwig and Mike Curato. This book focuses on the ways small acts of kindness ripple out into the world in a chain reaction. This month, we will focus on kindness, social awareness, and relationship building.