On May 2nd, 2014 Chris Colemen wrote in the Star Tribune an article titiled by "Develop the whole child, socially and emotionally". Chris Coleman begins the article discussing when he was a young 17 year old boy his father gave him a graduation gift of a 21 day wilderness adventure with Minnesota Outward Bound. A year later Chris's father told Chris that he only had six months left to live and insisted that he continues with his life and job in Glacier National Park. These experiences Chris claimed, "..changed me forever. They helped me build "character," ...,the social-emotional skills of resiliency and self-worth." He thanks these experiences for who he has grown to be, and thanks them as he believes these are the experiences that helped him become the mayor of Saint Paul.
The article Chris writes is focused on how our cities are filled with children dealing with traumas and daily challenges from family mental illness, substance abuse, homeliness, and etc. These children in school are not being provided well enough to build the social skills, grit, perseverance they need to thrive and become successful adults. Chris is not alone in this thought of needing to fix our school curriculum. The University of Minnesota is hosting the Applied Research and Educational Improvements featuring researchers from Harvard to demonstrate how cities can improve the social and emotional development. He wraps up that this is not just a social and emotional issue either, as it is an economic must-do, as they are our future and these skills are crucial in the workplace.
I personally never thought about children in the school system not getting education about how to develop their social and emotional skills, but personally think it is something they can really improve children. I remember as a kid saying, "I'll never need to know how much ice cream I will need to put into my ice cream cone. Math is so stupid. I will just keep scooping until it is full". And after reading this article, I remember that one time in choir class were I was told by my teacher that my grandfathers cancer has led him into the intensive care unit and I just broke down and cried. My teacher held my hand and spoke to me and my situation and helped me emotionally collect myself and THAT was a something I took with me to future problems to get through.
Some questions I want to ask you guys is:
1. Do you feel it is the school's duty to teach kids to develop the social and emotional skills or is it even necessary?
2. Where should we learn our social and emotional skills?