M.A. Counseling Psychology: Art Therapy, Naropa Universty
Important Skills I Want to Teach my Students
I endeavor to cultivate empathy for self and others amongst our students. This foundational skill is a critical component for students’ lifelong success and leadership in education, careers, and relationships.
Teaching Methods to Reach These Goals
Our advisory curriculum is designed to strengthen students’ empathy skills. This focus on vital social-emotional learning skills, such as empathy, is cross-curricularly integrated and reinforced through an intentional, thoughtful, and critical examination of classroom material beyond didactic instruction. For instance, students in design thinking discuss the importance of empathy in the design process. In their discussion of the book “Night,” students are challenged to engage in perspective-taking to deepen their understanding of, and appreciation for, the experiences of Holocaust victims.
My Favorite Projects
My favorite part of the year is our Middle School-wide Amazing Race. Today, more than ever, it is vital that we provide our students with experiences crafted to build resiliency. On a surface level, this may appear simply as a day of games. However, embedded within are many experiences of challenge and failure, as well as the chance for students to see that they can, in fact, handle it! It is also helpful for students to have experiences with peers outside their grade level. Research increasingly points to the importance of resilience and effective routes to its cultivation. Resiliency is best achieved through giving students opportunities to safely experience challenges and failure (even in the form of games!), along with a sense of larger purpose and positive relationships, all of which serve to advance personal growth.
What I Like Best About Teaching at Seven Hills
The freedom to be responsive to our students’ needs. We are not limited by the constraints of pre-packaged curriculums or extraneous duties that could detract from our essential core priority—connecting with, advocating for, and supporting our students. This is only possible because we are lucky enough to have an administration that truly prioritizes the development of our children not only as students, but as human beings.