Supporting Student & Educator Well-Being: Assistance and Resistance Required

Graphic by Karen Kliethermes

Sometimes educators are asked to follow policies that stunt student growth or worse, cause harm. This is why I am hoping you will stick with me for the next 5 minutes or so. Today is both my son’s and my aunt’s birthday, one a student, the other a career high school educator. The best way […]

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Back to School with Mister Rogers… and Neuroscientists

If neuroscientists and Mister Rogers collaborated to write a Welcome Back to School Recipe, the first ingredient would be feelings of belonging.   JUST HOW CRITICAL ARE FEELINGS OF BELONGING? Belonging has been prioritized in Native American educational practices utilized and refined over the course of 15,000 years across approximately 200 tribal languages. On the […]

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Yin for the Yang

“There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.” ~ Edith Wharton Power is a weighty word. For a variety of reasons, including having witnessed abuse of power within their families, neighborhoods or school communities, many people with stronger feminine, or yin energy (independent of gender), are intimidated […]

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A Month of Peace Full Practices

As part of SoulSpark’s dedication to supporting the well-being of students and educators, each day this December we will share one of our practices for creating peace within ourselves and our communities. Since transitions in our nation’s political climate over the past year, we have noticed children and educators are reporting feeling more on edge. […]

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Creating Inclusive Communities

By: Carling Jackson of Humanity Art 
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Many among us have fantasized about a world where there is only one rule: “Be Kind.” We imagine a utopic society where everyone is held in a global embrace. Connection to others is immeasurably important, especially for outliers whose developmental uniqueness is socially isolating by definition. Arguably, feeling connected to community is the single most […]

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3-2-1 JUSTICE! Promoting Equity

black mom whispering

“Humanity has made two promises to its children. The first is to prepare a world which accepts them and provides them with opportunities to live, grow and create in safety. The other is to help them develop their whole beings to the fullest in every respect. Education is the vehicle through which we try to […]

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Stand Up!

black and white image child yelling in microphone

Stand Up: How we are teaches children how to be. If you are parenting a young equity advocate, this 30-second video is a must see: Two-thirds of gifted students (cognitive outliers, creatives, empaths, change-makers, highly sensitives, etc. – pick whichever label suits you) have experienced bullying by eighth grade (Peterson, 2006), which is more than […]

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RISE: An Anthem for Changemakers

Solstice Sunrise on Mt. Sanitas

Poetry is a winding creek path from your inside out, Reflecting light; A reminder Only you define you. Every day holds the gift of choice. Even when the wind blows with all his might, water keeps her steady course. Heart knows true north. When you listen, what guides? Kindness? Equity? Courage? Actions born from love […]

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How We See Teaches

girl from chile

One day after school, one of our second graders, Tamara, approached me and asked, “Why would a teacher ask me a question that a book already explains the answer to?” Brilliant or Annoying? I saw a curious, confident critical thinker who was pushing everyone’s thinking. The teacher at her previous, highly-acclaimed neighborhood school saw a […]

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