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Author: Tamara Fyke

Are your students at risk? Here’s what to watch for.

Over the past 25 years of working with administrators and teachers around SEL, the pushback has been “I don’t have time for that” or “I don’t know what to do” or “I’m not a school counselor.”  We are living in a state of emergency, and we must be fully present for our students. No excuses. More than ever, students need to know that they are not alone in this crazy world. We must communicate unceas...

Making Sense with Stories

Let’s face it. None of us expected to be living in a sci-fi thriller during 2020: COVID pandemic, civil unrest, election disputes, distance learning, economic struggles, and the list goes on. How do we make sense out of the chaos? Stories. Bruno Bettleheim studied fairy tales, and he asserts that these fantastical stories offer children “ideas on how to bring their inner house into order.” Think o...

Boldly Digging into Diversity

In a large urban district like Metro Nashville Public Schools, my biracial children felt rather comfortable. There were other brown faces in their classrooms. For the most part, they didn’t stand out as “different.” Of course, they did encounter the occasional question about ethnicity from a peer. One of my sons even had a white teacher treat him unfairly because of the color of his skin. But, for...

What Does SEL Look Like In Afterschool Programs?

Although the first semester is almost over, it is not too late to make adjustments to your programming for Spring 2020.  Recently, afterschool leaders have asked me: “How do I incorporate social-emotional learning (SEL) into my program?”  Before discussing the how, let’s look at the why. In the early 1990s, Hawkins & Catalano (1992, 1995)identified three factors to help move kids from risk to ...

Modeling Social-Emotional Skills To Support Kids’ Growth

Over the past year, I have talked with dozens of educators and community leaders about their goals for social-emotional learning (SEL), which I define as identifying what is going on in our heads and in our hearts so we can use our hands to build up, rather than tear down. What I hear most often is the need to build adults’ capacity for SEL. Having worked in education and community programs for tw...

Let’s Play!

A few years ago, I took my youngest son and his friend to Laser Quest. It’s the best laser tag place I know, full of two-story mazes covered in glow-in-the-dark paint. I had intended to sit and wait for the boys as they enjoyed their experience, but a quick phone call with Mom changed that plan. “Go play. Have fun! I would if I was there,” encouraged Mom. She knows I’m still a kid at heart, just l...