Falling Love On Paper by ArchipochPicture it – in preparation for Valentine’s Day, kindergarten students drawing their parents, siblings, the family pet with red and pink hearts abound with glitter. Of course we have seen those drawings. They’re hanging on our refrigerator doors.

Picture it – middle and high school students trying to decide who will be their “valentine.” Teddy bears, balloons and candy are being exchanged by the hallway lockers. Text messages and social media exchanges between friends on who to dance with at the Valentine’s Day dance.  Oh, the pressure of having a valentine so not to be left out or branded unpopular.

Is there more we can instill in our students? If your school haven’t changed how you recognize Valentine’s Day,  or if you want to learn more on how to cultivate an atmosphere of compassion in your school, the following information may help start the discussion.

Edutopia has provided great resources on social and emotional learning. The links will take you to videos and websites that provide information on how to foster an environment of empathy in your class/school. Edutopia also provided tips for building empathy.

The Random Acts of Kindness provides resources on ways to bring kindness to the world around you.

Greater Good, based at the University of California, Berkeley, provides resources on their core themes of gratitude, altruism, compassion, empathy, forgiveness, happiness and mindfulness.

On another note, Greater Good has a great article on how to integrate social emotional learning into the Common Core.