Dear Families and Friends of Trinity,
At our General PTO fall meeting, Dr. Beth Auslander; Ph.D. and Professor/Psychologist at UTMB Department of Pediatrics, led our parents in a discussion about helping your child succeed and SEL (Social Emotional Learning). Dr. Auslander is a Mental Health Director at the Teen Health Center and mother of Vincent Barber in Grade 5. She shared that SEL is the process by which children and adults learn to understand and manage emotions, demonstrate care and concern for others, and develop positive relationships, and make responsible decisions. She then shared the Trinity mission statement which is to nurture and educate children in a God-centered environment, filling hearts and minds with a passion for learning, a strong moral foundation, a commitment to social responsibility, and respect for all people. Dr. Auslander was pleased to share that this is happening daily at Trinity. The discussion centered around how we, as a community, can work together to help our children become their best selves. The big question being, “How we can help our children behave ethically?” She shared how my opening statements at our Back to School Orientation resonated with her; and how we want our children to be real and responsible, so we can help our children rise.
To facilitate the development of social and emotional learning in ourselves and our children, Dr. Auslander encouraged us first to embrace a growth mindset. Based on research by Stanford University psychologist, Carol Dweck, Ph.D., a growth mindset is the belief that abilities, including intellectual, social, and emotional, can be developed. According to Dweck, we can encourage a growth mindset by teaching our children to love challenges, be intrigued by mistakes, and enjoy effort as they continue learning. Dweck describes children with this skillset: “Children who have the Grit to navigate others.” Dweck would further say that this the best gift a parent can give their child.
In recent years, the characteristics of grit and resilience have received much attention in popular and scientific communities. It has been found that embodying these traits can profoundly affect how students live purposeful lives—academically, socially and emotionally.
When you consider the “person” you want your child to be when s/he grows up, who is that person? What does s/he think, feel, or do? I take our school-home partnership very seriously; to that end, Dr. Auslander will be starting a monthly book/video club on Social Emotional Learning with our first topic being: Embracing a Growth Mindset. Please look for the sign-up sheet for our first meeting on this very important subject at our upcoming Literacy Night, October 23rd from 5:00-7:30. In the meantime, check out these links on Social Emotional Learning.
With warm regards,
Mark Ravelli / Head of School
Trinity Episcopal School
720 Tremont Street Galveston, TX 77550