Start With the Heart

Start With the Heart: Igniting Hope in Schools Through Social and Emotional Learning 1st Edition

She was obviously tired. She came to school that morning appearing dirty and disheveled. But, she came to school. Through tears of frustration, she explained she had slept on a park bench the night before. She had tried to go home, but her mom was doing a drug deal and locked her out of the house. So, she walked to the park and eventually fell asleep on a bench, alone and cold. When the sun came up, she walked to school. Her mom didn’t know where she was, and in her opinion, her mom didn’t care . . . but, she came to school. Why? Why did she choose to show up, when others might have chosen to go to a friend’s house or wander aimlessly? Because it wasn’t just about school, it was that at school, she was connected. This beautifully rebellious, wildly stubborn, and woefully broken-hearted teenager came to school because she knew that we expected her, that we wanted her, and that we cared. This connection she felt did not happen naturally. It was a connection born in intention and effort. Connection that makes a difference in the lives of human beings must be conscientious. To be conscientious is to be mindful, intentional, or attentive. To truly be connected, we need to start with the heart in a true effort to see others for who they are on the inside, and appreciate and value them as such. This is imperative in the school setting, because when we as educators sincerely connect with each other and with our students, we set a tone for belonging, living, and learning that is impactful and potentially life-changing.

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