"In our education system, we need to include lessons...that focus on mental and emotional hygiene, that teach how to develop a healthy mind" - the Dalai Lama
As a kindergarten teacher, I feel that one of my main responsibilties isn't just to teach ABC's and 123's, but to teach children how to be strong, confident, happy members of society.
I teach a wonderfully diverse group of students in a largely agricultural community. Many of my students have faced unbelievable hardships in their young lives. Poverty, separation due to deportation, families struggling with substance abuse and housing issues are sadly a part of many of my students' lives. I would love to be able to help these precious children learn important social emotional skills that can help support them through struggles they may face.
As a teacher, I've learned that my job doesn't just cover teaching the basics. Of course, learning to read and write are important skills, but I also need to prepare my students to be successful, happy, healthy adults, despite sometimes having a rough start.
A classroom library full of books that can open discussions and provide a springboard for lessons on empathy, kindness, identifying and managing emotions, and self confidence would be an amazing resource for my young students.
I'm looking forward to using these picture books to help reinforce some of these character traits and social skills with my kindergarten students.
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