Ti-Fen (0s): Hi, everyone. Welcome to Compass. Teachers show I’m your host Ti-Fen. My job is to interview Teachers around the globe and teach out their teaching tactics, education, research, or tools they use. Hopefully this show can offer ideas for you to experiments in your classrooms.
In this episode, we are going to dig, dive into how to infuse social, emotional learning into your own classroom. Today, we are really honored to have Wendy Turner joining us. Wendy is a second grade teacher in 2017 or 18 Delaware Teacher of the Year. She teaches at Pleasant Elementary. a large suburban school in Delaware with over 750 students and a diverse population Wendy is interested in trauma informed practices, global education, social, emotional learning, and empathy in education.
And she loved every moment spans with her seven or eight years old. And without further ado, let’s enjoy our conversation with Wendy. Welcome to the show. Wendy
Wendy (1m 27s): Hi, I’m so happy to be here. Thank you so much for inviting me to join your show. I’m I’m thrilled.
Ti-Fen (1m 33s): So, first of all, I know that you have a really different trajectory into teaching after 17 years in the business world and you decided you become a teacher, a curse. What is the story or motivation that drove you to make these big transitions?
Wendy (1m 53s): Oh, it’s such a great question. Thanks for asking that. Yes, I a was a business major in college. I worked for 17 years in finance and accounting, and we had a daughter in 2005. And when my daughter was about six months old, I remember the So clearly I was sitting in my cubicle at the big company I worked for here in Wilmington. I just sat there and I thought to myself, I can’t do this for 20 more years. I had really enjoyed spending time with my daughter. I had some nieces at this point and I felt like I could relate really well to children.
So I called my husband and I said, hi, do you mind if I go to school at night to become a teacher? And he was like, sure, he didn’t drop the phone or hang up on me, which is good news. And I, I began to go to school at night and it took me about three years of working full time, going to school at night, taking care of our daughter. And I had our son another baby during the same time. So it was exciting, challenging, but wonderful. And it was absolutely the right choice for me.
I, it, to start working in a profession where I could have more human impact, I could make a difference. And I always tell people that my very worst day in teaching is far better than my best day in my old job.
Ti-Fen (3m 15s): Wow. So do you find your previous business experience add on a different color into your teaching in an unexpected ways, or like how does the shape you differently in teaching compared to other educators?
Wendy (3m 31s): So that’s a great question. And it has been an enormous advantage in my opinion, to have all those years in the business world, in my experience. So during that time I worked for many large companies, I worked for Disney, I worked for Pricewaterhouse. I worked for a fragrance company in New York city. And when I worked for Disney, I traveled around the world and that added to my personal experience helped me broaden my horizons and come in contact with all the different people. And I even worked in environments that were terrible. I worked in environments where people screamed and yelled at, try to make people cry, literally and navigating those types of environments and coming out of them stronger, learning how to be resilient and ultimately saying no to those types of environments gave me confidence.
And I truly feel like becoming a teacher at eight 40. I was more prepared to work with different kinds of people in my students and my families that I support and just people in the district, because of all those years of experience, I don’t think I would of been anywhere near as effective if I have become a teacher right out of college at age 22.
Ti-Fen (4m 33s): So we know like you put lots of work into social, emotional learning, what inspired you to poop so much ever to emphasize these areas?
Wendy (4m 47s): Mmm, that’s a great question. So this area isn’t even talked about very often and teacher preparation programs, it’s, it’s something you have to kind of figure out. And when I wrote, I have to write my teaching philosophy when I was a teaching students and I wrote a long time ago. It’s probably, you know, 15 years ago now that I wanted to teach my students how to be successful human beings. And that was just something I felt inside me. And so I had a little bit of an instinct to do this, and then really what crystallize this for me was something that happened in my first year of teaching.
I started my job teaching second grade and on about the seventh day of class, the second week of class, one of the students in my class lost their mom to cancer. So it was very worrisome for me because here I was a new teacher and I have to figure out how to support my students, how to support the other students in second grade I’m at this time, because they were starting to experience fears around losing a parent and then how to like he’ll and come together as a community, a Classroom communities through this very difficult time.
And, and I really remember her being at home crying, literally because they didn’t know what to do, but I just asked for help. I started talking to our principal and our counselor about what I can do. And I knew very, very clearly that we couldn’t just come back into school and like open up the math book and start teaching would be like open up to page 20. We were going to start a lesson. We had to talk about what happened. We had to share our feelings. We had to share a messy, uncomfortable feelings and work our way through them. We couldn’t pretend it hadn’t happened.
We had to embrace what, what hap what did happen. And we work our way through it. And ultimately we ended up doing a really big charity project where we were able to make a large donation to a charitable foundation at the end of the year, kind of like as a way to conclude this experience together. So that told me right then and there, if we don’t do social, emotional learning, we’re not even going to get to the academic stuff.
Ti-Fen (6m 43s): Yeah. That’s really wonderful. So I think it’s a good way. We can talk more about the way we can Infuse Social Emotional, Learning in Classroom. So from my research, I know you believe the best way to do that is to be a model for our students by identifying what we need to work on and engaging that work right before our students’ eyes. So I’m curious if there’s any story behind or your observation from the students or progression that it comes to these realizations.
Wendy (7m 20s): Sure. I’m you know, what can I define social, emotional learning for you first? Cause I think that will be helpful. Yeah. Okay. All right. Great. So social, emotional learning is to me, it’s everything, it’s the foundation of everything that we do in education. And if we don’t do it, we’re, we’re not going to be successful. So a lot of people know that social, emotional learning is very important now with the trauma that everyone is enduring with, COVID-19 in schools being closed and open. And, but I think that a lot of people, if you ask them what it is, they are just not sure they’re like, was it mindfulness or gratitude or it’s something about getting along with people?
I don’t know. So I like to really use a framework for social, emotional learning. There is a very popular one out there. And I explain that to my students and that helps us all stay grounded in what we’re doing. So CASEL is the collaborative for academic and social, emotional learning. They are the, you know, the leader and thought around social, emotional learning and providing resources and space around social, emotional learning. And they have a model and is known as the Capitol five and it’s five competencies.
And if you go to their website, you will find this graphic, it’s a wheel and it’s got five parts to it. And the different competencies that are social, emotional learning are five things that are self-awareness self-management social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision making. So as you work to bring these things to your students, you have to define the things for your students. And then you have to give them ways to develop strength and skill in them. And I think if we, as adults do that side by side with our, we are, you know, walking the walk and talking the talk that we say we’re going to do, and we’re modeling it for them in real time.
And there’s a struggle. Some people find, they say like, why can’t I can’t fit social, emotional learning. And I have to cover all this content, or, you know, I have a math teacher, I don’t do this, this isn’t my job. But what we need to do ultimately is yes, define these things. And yes, talk about some vocabulary that kids need to understand like emotions or, you know, what’s a relationship with empathy. And then we have to understand what it is to infuse them into our academic activities and it’s absolutely possible to do so. I think that there’s a great case study out there.
And it was put up by San Jose state and it talked about how to prepare teachers to do this. And that piece really speaks to my heart about social, emotional learning. But the piece talks about in order to prepare teachers to do this, number one, you have to have them work on their own adult. SEL so work on their social, emotional competence in terms of developing self-awareness self-management social awareness, relationship skills and decision-making skills. And then you have to teach them how to integrate it
Ti-Fen (10m 7s): how you engage your personnel work in progress SEL while teaching them social, emotional learning and their needs.
Wendy (10m 32s): Sure. So a great one right now, one, this is really important is around self management and self awareness. And that is really the process of identifying our emotions. And right now we’re all going through many, many emotions because the world is going through many, many challenges right now. And I feel like the world is in survival mode. And as a result, lots of human beings are to So something that I can do is I can ask the kids to do an emotion. Check-in I can say, how are you feeling today? Are you feeling good, a ready to learn?
Or do you feel a little uneasy or worried about something or are you mad or scared or angry? And I can also share my emotional state to write. So when I do that, then I can kind of quickly assess who might have trouble Today Learning who might need a little bit more compassion or support. And when we, before school closed, I used this rubber bracelet system. Every day, the kids would come in and put on a bracelet, red, green, or yellow on their wrist quietly, and to show me and their classmates how they were feeling. And we talked about the fact that if a student was wearing a yellow or a red bracelet, we might need to support them better.
And what would it look like to support them? And I would also wear a bracelet too. So there might be mornings, you know, a lot of times they come in on green. I’m really excited to see my students, but Hey, I am a human being too. And if I’ve gotten into a fight with one of my kids on the way to school or something like that, I might come in and put on a yellow bracelet. So I’m modeling my honesty was sharing my emotions and I’m fostering a safe environment where students can share their emotions. You know, if you come in every day and put it on the red bracelet, you’re never in trouble. Thank you. In fact, for doing that and how can I help you?
How can I help you get to a place of learning? And so that’s something that can be integrated into the fabric of your classroom. I am a remote or hybrid. I’ve been on a year. So the kids figure out a Google form to share this information. So that’s one way. And then once we realized that we do have emotions that we’ll call it uncomfortable, maybe yellow or red, we have to teach resilience strategies. So when you feel uncomfortable and your having a mad, sad, or angry day, what do you do? So we teach children explicit, calming strategies.
We talk about the power of our breath. It’s always with us. It’s something we can go back to. We talk about finding joy and the good things. Even in the hardest days, one of Castle’s signature plays. They have a signature playbook with three signature SEL moves. One of them is an optimistic closing. So every day we do an activity, that’s an optimistic closing on Monday, it’s called three good things. And I asked the kids to share three good things. And it might have been the worst day or the most challenging day, but we share things like the sun is out.
Or I snuggled with my dog Today or I have a hot dog for a lunch, or I say, I’ve got to go out and walk around the block. So you just celebrate the good things, even on the hardest day. And that’s something that I do kind of concurrently with my students, because whenever I ask them to share or something like that, I do the same thing. I share my emotion, I share three good things, et cetera. Another one that I really like is reframing negative thoughts. And that also comes into play with self-awareness and self-management human beings are wired to have a negativity bias, which means that they focus on negative thoughts, more than positive thoughts.
And if you think about a day, maybe you’ve gone through a day and 10 things have happened to you. None of them were good and one was bad. All you remember is that one bad thing and reframing is where you take a situation and you look for the positive in it. It’s not like pretending that everything’s great ’cause we don’t want to do that, but its looking for something good. And an example was, you know, last spring schools and you’re in the U S closed in March and we had to do a lot of reframing. So school closed, we weren’t really good at remote learning yet.
We were struggling a lot, but we reframed and said things like, well, the school is closed, but I get more time because I don’t have to commute to work right now. Or your school is closed, but I’m learning a lot of new technology. And that’s a good thing for me in my students or school is closed and I get to spend more time with my family. So by teaching explicitly how to reframe negative thoughts and find the good thing in a situation you gift, you’re introducing another resilience strategy.
Ti-Fen (14m 47s): Yeah. I really loved the reframing one, but I also found that
Ti-Fen (14m 52s): The bracelet is really interesting. How many colors do, can you then choose for a, the bracelets and also ldo they make the bracelets themselves? Or you just like distribute some bracelet to them.
Wendy (15m 8s): So yeah, they are right now with my bracelet model, I have three colors, green, yellow, and red, and I just buy plastic rubber bracelets that can be reused now with COVID. I may start using ones with the kids who were in person in my classroom. We’ll have some hybrid learners and I’ll just give them like a little plastic bag that has three bracelets in it that they can choose from that are always there. And we named on the first day of school, actually I put up a chart and we name emotions and we sort them into green emotions, yellow emotions and red emotions. So they have some language around what’s What I think you could add other colors for even young kids, but certainly for older people I’ve, I’ve had blue be represented as sad.
I’ve seen orange represented for exciting I’m or pink could be an exciting and purple could be kind of calm. So you can really add whatever you want. I do just focus on the three right now, but you could, we can really be great if you can have the kids to design a system. So if you’re going to have bracelets and you want it to have colors represent emotions, what would you want each of them to be in? That can be so powerful because they can have a part in it. And I have to say, I wish that sometimes adults had such a system because how amazing would it be to walk into your workplace and just know who’s struggling a little bit of who might need some help or a check-in.
Ti-Fen (16m 22s): Yeah, that’s true. And you don’t need to struggle to read their minds so you can just, See how they are feeling. So there is the one thing that you just mentioned. I also really want to ask is the emotion though checks in Jamboard that would you mind sharing with us how you do this activity in your classroom?
Wendy (16m 44s): Yeah. And I’m happy to share some templates with you too. So I’ve noticed over time that Monday is really a hard day for my students. So even when we were in school, when school is open kids coming in on Monday and they’re very tired because they usually stay up later than normal and Friday and Saturday night and then sleep in later. And they may spend a lot of times playing video games, especially in the cold weather, you know, and that can just make you feel tired and sluggish, that kind of thing. So I tried something two Mondays ago that I just loved and it was a huge success.
I’m going to keep doing it. I created a jam board. So we use Google jam board. And on that jam board, the, it just says, please share an emotion that you’re feeling right now. And the students, if your familiar with Jim, where they can actually click on a sticky note and they just type something on it. So whether your students are at home or in the classroom, everyone can engage and collaborate on that at once, which is I think a very powerful too, when we’re all split up and separate from each other. So I did it two Mondays ago and kids were writing things like tired. I have a headache I’m okay.
I’m excited. I’m pretty good. But it was more unpleasant emotions than Pleasant emotions I noticed. And one had written that they felt calm. Now, after that, I asked the kids to just take a look at the screen I was sharing and I was said, I was going to show them some pictures. And I went on to show them 18, really beautiful pictures of winter scenes in Sweden. And I think I found them in the New York times and I’d put them on the jam board and I just went through them. And I think I quietly count to five for each picture was like a five count.
So they can look at each picture for a five count and went through and they were just beautiful in Northern lights were a Borealis campfires. There was a dog flood picture, a wild reindeer. They were, you know, from trees. Icicles is just absolutely beautiful. And then on the 20th side of the jam board, I said, okay, please check in again, write in a motion. Well, they checked in again and 10, not one, but 10 students wrote down that they were feeling calm. Several students wrote down that they were feeling better and more students said they were excited.
So I had seen the incidents of a student, a sharing, a common motion rise tenfold just from showing a series of pictures of winter scenes. And that just really blew me away because data is data, data doesn’t lie, and data can inform what you’re doing. So that told me that if I could show my pictures that created a positive, happy chemicals and the brain every Monday morning, that was going to allow us to go into our lesson in a better place mentally. And I did it again this week, except instead of winter scenes, I use pictures of cute baby animals.
And basically I have the same result. So right after this, I hadn’t told the students about the activity. I hadn’t told them they are going to do a second check-in I just said, what do you notice? And they were like, wow, a lot of people feel better. I feel good. That’s nice. And then they came. I said, well, what do you think this means? What, what is this telling us? And they said, if I look at pictures, nice pictures, I’m going to feel better. They basically came up with that understanding themselves. And I said, yes. So if you’re stressed during an academic task or you’re feeling upset, could you go to a window and look at nature in that might make you feel better?
And they said, absolutely it will. So it was incredible to me to just go through that activity.
Ti-Fen (19m 56s): That’s really powerful. Like, Oh, I like the ways that you are not only helping them to identify, identify the emotion, but you also give them the tools that they can flip that emotion to a positive one. So our, then in this an example, is there any other tools that you find useful for useful for students to help them do any like self-management
Wendy (20m 27s): Yeah. So I want to share, let me share another activity that we do. So something that’s really critical in this environment is creating ways that the students can work together even in the world in separate locations. So we do use zoom for our video conferences and if I was in the classroom, I would have a lot of collaborative groups. A few years ago. I used have long rectangle tables in my classroom. And a few years ago I did a donors choose project to get funding for round tables because I realized that the collaboration communication with my students would be so much more if they were sitting at round tables facing each other.
Because when you’re sitting at a long rectangle table, the, to people at the end will never speak to each other basically, right, because there’s too much space and it’s not easy, but I instead got all round tables from my classroom so they can look up and be sitting and looking at each other. So in the classroom, I would change seats. Often I would have activities for each table. I’d have people work in pairs. And I had to figure out a way to do that in a virtual environment. So we do use them for video conferences and I create discussions that kids do in break out rooms. And every day I have a topic in a five minute discussion and it might be something silly.
Like if you could have any food all day for one day, what would you have? If you can travel anywhere, where would you go? What’s something you enjoy doing with your family. They’re all just connection questions that are designed to help us get to know each other and bond and find our commonalities. So in the beginning of the year, they were having a little trouble with a breakout rooms. Like some kids were talking too much. Some kids were not talking enough. Kids said, well, I don’t like to talk. I just want to use the chat. And so we have to kind of talk about what was going on. And some kids were coming back from the breakout rooms and they were like giving the thumbs down side.
Like the breakout room is terrible. So I said, okay, where are we going to do with this? So I have something called an empathy meter and it’s a visual and picture or a rainbow. And on one side of the rainbow, it’s a beautiful orange color. That’s actually my favorite color. I feel like it’s exudes positivity. There’s this orange color. And there’s these hearts. And it says, I’m using empathy. I’m thinking about others. I’m thinking with others, I’m caring for others. And on the other side of the rainbow arc, its kind of gray and it says, I’m not thinking of others.
I might be hurting others. Or I’m just thinking of myself in the middle of your kind of neutral. So what I do is once a week, I pull that out on a, again on a jam board and I ask the kids to have a sticky note. So where do you think we are in this empathy meter? How are we being empathetic or are we not being empathetic? And one of the times I did it, there were a lot of sticky notes, just kind of in the middle, like people weren’t putting them over towards the empathetic side of the orange side. And I said, what’s going on with us? And they said, well, it’s really the breakout rooms. Like we’re doing badly. And the breakout rooms and people are getting mad and they’re coming back mad and we need to do better.
So I just said, how can we do breakout rooms better? And they shared ideas. Like let people be in the chat, create an order for people participating like use alphabetical order or something or someone try and be in charge to make sure everyone gets to talk. They ask me to put in a chat warning, like when there’s one or two minutes left. So they knew they had to wrap it up to get everyone to, to, to chat. And so we did those things and breakout rooms started to get better. And so then usually every Friday ask them to do the Mt check-in and we started to see more people were moving their sticky over to the side of the, a jam where the empathy side was.
So that’s a way to think really concretely about using empathy in your everyday life. We read lots of stories about empathy. We talk about what empathy looks like, but we, I think when teaching SEL skills, you have to talk about what it looks like when that skill is missing. So in these examples, we learned what it was like when empathy was not present. And I think that’s very powerful for talking about what it looks like, what it is there for them
Ti-Fen (24m 11s): And so I feel like, Oh, these are really, really great tools in our midst. Make sure that they are in our show notes so our listeners can check it out, and experiment in their classrooms. So S E L is a very abstract Learning compared to all their traditional subjects, which is relatively easy to assess progress.
So for you, how do you know your students are making progress in these competencies?
Wendy (24m 55s): So I’m like the example I just gave you. I realized that the students we’re making progress with the breakout rooms, which meant that they were more self aware of what they were doing in staying in the breakout rooms. And they were developing relationships with other kids by saying we’re able to do better in the breakout rooms. And so it’s your right. You don’t want to give an assessment about that. You’re never going to give your students a worksheet and ask them how to make responsible decisions you’re actually going to do. Also, I’ve had a, So a little girl came up to me last week and she just almost had tears in her eyes.
And I said, what’s wrong? And she said, I miss my friend. I miss my friends and I don’t know what I’m going to see you are. And I hate COVID. And I said, okay. So I said, lets try to get something to do. And I said, can you walk down the hall? There’s a long hall. Can you work for the hole and just hold this and squeeze it. And it was actually just a roll of paper towels because I can’t have all the things I used to share a little stuffies or a squishy balls and things like that because of COVID and germs. And she said, okay, I can do that. And so she walked down the hall and came back and when she came back, she was able to get back to her work. So right there that tells me that that student was completely in tune with her negative emotion.
She knew to ask for something. And when I provided her with a tool or an idea, she embraced it and she did it. And then she came back and said, thank you. I feel better. And I can go finish my math now. So you kind of have to be aware of it in moments. So I feel so proud when I can see it happening in moments last year, another quick story we had our tables were working in groups of four and this one student got very upset and he started to cry and stomp his feet.
And we have these benches in my classroom. We actually called them like the cool-down bench or the breathing bench. And he was getting upset and stomping his feet, but he stomped his feet right over to the cool-down bench. He knew what to do and where to go. And then two or three other students from his group that he’d been working with, went over to him and said, you’re okay. You’re going to be okay, good job. You know, you’re going to feel better soon. You’re on the breathing bench. And that, that was one of those moments, right? So I observed a child losing control of their emotions or having difficult emotions. I observed them in bracing, a strategy we introduced in the classroom.
And then I observed other students being empathetic and checking in with that child and complimenting them on doing just that. I was like, mic drop moment. I was like, I love it. It’s happening. They’re doing, and I didn’t tell anyone to do any of these things and it’s it’s happening
Ti-Fen (27m 17s): Well. So yeah, I got you. So basically it’s really hard to use data, to know their progress but we can use our observation from their behaviors to know the, they are improving.
Wendy (27m 33s): Yeah, you can’t. I would say too, you can do surveys and you could use little formative assessments, like say you are a really teaching kids about the definition of something like empathy or a growth mindset. You can certainly give them like little quizzes to see if they have an understanding of those terms and concepts. I do think you have to spend a couple of weeks teaching some terms to the kids, some actual content. So they’re familiar with a language and they can use it.
Ti-Fen (27m 57s): Last question we know that there were lots of things happening in the States from black lives matter to today’s Capitol riots for the Capitol riot. Do you have any conversation with your students? And it’s a such a hard topic.
Wendy (28m 20s): Yes. Thank you. So I teach seven and eight year olds and this is a tender age, right? So on Wednesday evening, as I was watching the Capitol riots, all I can think about was what am I going to do tomorrow? So I determined that I would create space for whoever needed it, because I knew that at this age, some kids wouldn’t know what happened. They wouldn’t of been watching the news. Their parents may have chosen to not show them the news or tell him about it, to keep them insulated from it. And that is reasonable for a young child.
So what I did the next day is I started our day as we always do. We have a morning meeting. I said, we’re going to do a morning meeting exactly the same as we do every day. And then I said, I’m going to talk about something that happened yesterday. That was kind of hard. And I told them factually what happened? And then I have the kids do a, check-in a again on a jam board. Do you want to have a class conversation about this? Or do you want to go work independently? Like you don’t need to have a conversation. And so the kids move their sticky notes and it turned out that five students want it to have a conversation. So I placed every one in individual break out rooms who wasn’t going to be part of it because that’s fair.
And that’s their choice. They worked on some independent tasks. And then with those five students, I said, you know, again, factually here’s what happened? Do you have any questions? What are you thinking? And one student shared that he had watched the news with his family, his father talked to them about it, that kind of thing, or another girl was scared that shared that she was experiencing worry and anxiety watching the news. You know, it’s upsetting to see people fighting to see, seen, hear about violence, those kinds of things. And one girl just said, well, what happened? Can you tell me more about what happened?
I think I know what happens. She had older brothers and she just wanted to know a little bit more. And we went through that conversation for about 20 minutes and that’s it. I just held space for who needed it, which I think was the right thing to do. Hopefully.
Ti-Fen (30m 9s): Yeah, that sounds, that sounds right. And great to me. So the last section is some random and big questions. First, is there any one to two books that influence a lot of your thinking or value systems in these past few years?
Wendy (30m 25s): Yes. So I, I always love when people ask this question, a book that I love and is near to my heart and will be forever, is called fostering resilient learners and it’s strategies for creating a trauma sensitive classroom. And it’s written by Kristen sours and Pete hall. And I actually am friends with them now and I work for them. I consult I’m with them, teaching and training people and how to create a trauma sensitive environment. And when I was at Delaware Teacher of the Year, I had to have a platform or something to talk about when I visited at different schools and communities. And I always talked about this need to provide a trauma sensitive classroom.
I believe that it’s a moral imperative and it is what we need to do to support students because students can help what happens to them, but they come in with the effects of what happened to them and it’s our job to support them. So I love that book and it’s a quick read. You can read it on a weekend and then you can go into your classroom or your learning environment on the next Monday and do something differently. So I’m, I really recommend it fostering resilient learners. And then in this book, the second book I’ll mention is not an education book, but it’s spoke to me in such a wonderful way.
A friend gave it to me, it’s called rest. And the subtitle is why you get more done when you do less. And it’s by Alex, Sue, John Kim Pang. And it just talks about how we rest and how we can be really productive when we rest. And that rest may look different for everyone. So I’m a very active and driven person. I’m a morning person. I do a lot, even on the weekends, you always find me doing some kind of work because I’m pursuing like a side interest or we have another project going. And the book justifies for me that rest doesn’t always have to be like sitting silently, not moving rest can be hiking where your deep in thought or rest can be organizing, are doing a project where you are just coming away from your professional craft, because that’s often where we get ideas and figure out innovation, an innovative things that we can bring back to our professional craft.
So I love that book called rest.
Ti-Fen (32m 24s): So if you have a super power to change education system in America, what would it be ?
Wendy (32m 31s): So? It would be to immediately and all of the systemic racism that exists and our education system, it would be to have everyone immediately be culturally responsive and to have a more representation of educators of color in the system to support our students of color. And that’s what a lot of people are working on. That’s one of my goals that I pursue in addition to advocating for and teaching about social, emotional learning. This is something we need to do a So we do no harm to any student and we help them achieve their greatness.
It’s our job.
Ti-Fen (33m 5s): Right. So before we close up Wendy do you have any other thoughts that you want to share with our listeners?
Wendy (33m 13s): So I just want to say to all the educators out there, Thank you every day for all you do thank you for being in the field of education. Thank you for supporting students. Thank you for working to grow and be better. We are in a difficult, difficult time, but in a way it’s one of the most exciting times and education because there’s a lot of innovation taking place. There is a lot of people who are tackling these really hard issues around racism and things like that. And the last thing I want to say is listen to your students.
Your students can tell you what’s hard for them. Your students can tell you what their hopes and dreams are. Your students can tell you when they’re disengaged or they’re struggling. What the problem is. Just listen to them. If you place your classroom’s a student’s at the center of your classrooms and at the center of your own heart in education. And that’s where we can do great things for, for the people that we need to know.
Ti-Fen (34m 12s): Great. That’s really well-said. And the last, last thing I really appreciate Wendy you share so much great resource and activities for an hour.. And if our listeners want to know more about your work, how they can find you online.
Wendy (34m 36s): Oh, great. Yeah. Please contact me if you have questions or you need support. So I’m active on Twitter. My Twitter handle is at Mrs. Wendy Turner. I also have a Teacher Facebook page. It’s a Wendy Turner 2017. Delaware Teacher of the Year. And just like you contacted me through Twitter and through Facebook, please reach out. And my email is Wendy Turner at gmail.com. If you go into my Twitter profile, there’s a link there for our website. And that website is a wake lit collection, a curated collection of all the different articles.
I’ve written podcasts that I’ve been on presentations that I’ve made. So if you’re wondering about me or you’re looking for ideas, or just to understand how I think, please check out that collection of my work and then, and do reach out. I, I shared at the beginning of this broadcast that I am a global learning fellow, and I truly love to be connected to educators around the world. I’ve done presentations and trainings in Africa. I have replied to teachers in Asia and Europe about questions that they have. I’m friends with a teacher from South Africa because of my trip there with NEA foundation.
And So please do reach out because the common language is that language. That’s at the heart of all educators, that language of love. And I’d love to help you if I could. So thank you for joining me today. Thank you to fed. I had a wonderful time and I really appreciate being asked, and please do let me know if you and your listeners need anything and keep doing a wonderful job.