"What do you do when two of you climb the slide, and both want to go first?" asks the teacher, showing a picture of the troubling situation to a group of some ten preschoolers spread out on the carpet in front of her.
Some answers were on point: "You can say sorry" Others totally off: "If you are eating lunch, you are not fast enough to get to the slide first."
Today, several four-year olds on Ashbury discovered Mrs Pacific. This white Dove of Peace joined Witch Grabouilla - who is getting everyone excited for Halloween. The two muppets, hailing from different worlds, will co-exist in teaching children the most essential Social and Emotional skills this year.
It fosters knowledge, skills, and attitudes across the five areas of competence defined by the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL):
- Social awareness
- Relationship skills
- Responsible decision-making
Mrs Pacific is a Canadian Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) curriculum available in both English and French. It goes beyond the non-violent resolution of conflicts, and several teachers at the Lycée have been using it for several years. Its workshops are adapted to classes from PreK to 5th grade. Teachers find it particularly well adapted for Early Education, from preschool through first grade.
Having a methodical approach to SEL, particularly in a group of children who exhibit very few behavioral issues, enables the school to develop a very strong culture of collaboration. This is a climate where the qualities we wish to develop in our students - empathy, cooperation, self-management - can truly blossom.
Let's not forget to mention self-advocacy and critical thinking. When a child holding the muppet is asked to pass it to a friend, he responds "In two minutes!" The teacher counts "One... two!" The child promptly corrects her: "That was two seconds!" Nice try, prof.