Behavioural Norm > Be Here
Attention in a classroom is an increasingly elusive commodity. Committing to Be Here asks that in spite of all distractions that have an impact on us, we make a focused effort at participating.
Levels of participation are determined by age and developmental capacity. A preschooler being present in class is very different from the presence reflected in the behaviour of a high school student. Yet at any level working on being here, wherever you are, is where learning begins.
Being present fosters engagement with others and leads to active listening, contributions, and learning. As evidenced by the number of times Be Here is listed as a cross-category within the activities chapters (of The Full Value School book) it is clear that much of what we communicate requires the development of skills in this area. Being present in the experience requires understanding the task, asking clarifying questions, having necessary materials, and keeping track of time.
Be Here Outcomes
Listening is an essential skill to develop with students as it is the basis for effective communication. It requires becoming skilful at parsing out external and internal distractions.
Becoming Comfortable in One’s Own Skin
In our culture being unplugged from our social lives has become increasingly difficult. We are not comfortable with silence. We are often afraid to be alone with our own thoughts and feelings. This is reflected in the obsession with social media. It is important to embrace our thoughts and feelings and to cherish time alone. Being OK with being alone promotes the ability to operate as an individual who develops personal opinions and unique perspectives.
Once communication is established by practising active listening the potential exists for establishing and deepening relationships. Part of being here is learning something more about how people live their lives, what is important to them, what causes happiness or hurt. It is the beginning of vulnerability, which is also at the root of building relationships. It allows for authentic and meaningful communication and supports the ability to work together more effectively. Connecting with others within any activity involves shared ownership and responsibility leading to pride of accomplishment and feelings of increased self
efficacy and self-esteem.
As part of the Be Here process students are offered options for self-reflection. These include journaling, creating a physical representation such as a collage, drawing or sculpture, and group and paired sharing of experience. Self-reflection contributes to affective growth and abstract reasoning.
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Extracted & adapted from The Full Value School: A Social-Emotional Learning Community