Teaching has been described as both an art and a science. Looking to the discipline of art - the seriousness with which artists learn to see, draw, paint, and create - can transform our classrooms. Rather than seeing art as “extra”curricular or as a “special” subject, what would it mean to take art seriously in our schools? To place it at the core of what and how we teach children. Beauty should not be reserved for the lucky few but insisted upon for all.
Melissa Ospina is a former elementary school teacher, instructional specialist, and newly appointed Vice Principal of The Incarnation School in Manhattan. A lifelong New Yorker, she was raised in, has taught for, and is educating her son in New York City schools. Over the years, Melissa has become a fierce advocate for children, teachers, and parents alike.
For over thirty years, educational theory has prioritized standards-based learning over student’s individual needs. But emerging research has begun to show that a new way of teaching is possible. Inspired by the latest pedagogical research, we believe we need to shift our focus and recenter our classrooms around our students as individual learners.
Inspired by the overwhelming evidence of benefit to students, schools and districts have begun to add SEL into their curricula. Research shows, however, that to achieve positive results for their students, schools need to begin by invest in training their teachers. Teachers can only teach Social Emotional Learning effectively if they receive high quality pre-service and ongoing SEL training themselves.