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Start With the Heart

Start With the Heart
Igniting Hope in Schools Through Social and Emotional Learning

March 2019 | 168 pages | Corwin

Start with the heart to build a school climate in which achievement will flourish.

You can build an empathetic school culture that promotes genuine acceptance of one another, an appreciation for diversity, and an intrinsic desire to contribute and grow academically—a school environment that is inviting, positive, and engaging!

In this easy-to-read, inspiring book, educational consultant and former high school principal Michelle Trujillo shows how positive school culture is anchored in social and emotional learning as a way of being. Through explanation, personal anecdotes, and the demonstration of problem-solving through intentional connection, she guides educators to explore their own SEL aptitudes. In doing so, she inspires a schoolwide investment in a philosophy of connection—with students and each other—that ignites a climate in which every individual is seen, heard, and valued, and academic achievement has an opportunity to thrive for all. 

Drawing in readers through story and reflection, the book defines the challenges educators face and offers ample tools, strategies, and solutions for integrating 5 SEL competencies into schools. It includes

  • Concrete examples of relationship-building in action in schools by modeling, integrating and explicitly teaching social and emotional learning (SEL) to students
  • Practical, evidence-based strategies for explicit teaching of each SEL competency to students 
  • Opportunities for reflection, brainstorming, and classroom planning 
  • Stories that bring the student experience of empathetic school culture to life 
  • References to programs and practices that meet Tier 1 and 2 evidence-based curriculum requirements. 

Jumpstart conscientious connections in your school community and create a foundation for trust that allows students and educators to feel appreciated, effective, and productive. 

“This is a powerful and moving resource to inspire every educator who wants to make a difference!" 
– Eric Jensen, Author, Brain-Based Learning and Teaching With the Brain in Mind

Preface: Ignite Hope Now!
About the Author
Introduction. Social, Emotional, and Academic Development: A Way of Being
Chapter 1. It’s About the People: A “Meeting Them Where They Are” Mentality
Chapter 2. A Foundation of Love: 7 Keys of Connection
Chapter 3. Self-Awareness: Who Am I? An Essential Question
Chapter 4. Self-Management: Feeling It, Without Losing It
Chapter 5. Social Awareness: Seeing From the Inside Out
Chapter 6. Relationship Skills: The Significance of Being Seen and Heard
Chapter 7. Responsible Decision Making: The Power of Choice
Chapter 8. Modeling: It Starts With Us

"I have been involved in the implementation of Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) in schools for many years. What I loved about this book is that it takes the theory and research behind SEL and puts heart and relevance behind it. It not only gives practical advice and suggestions, but also serves as a kind and gentle way for the readers to reflect on their own practice and work to grow their own social and emotional skills. I have already recommended it to classroom teachers and am envisioning how I will use it for the next professional development activity I will be facilitating, as this book can be relevant to classroom teachers, administrators, and anyone in a school setting who works with kids. The title is Start With the Heart and I feel like the heart of the author, her love for students, and her passion for this work comes through on every page."

Victoria Blakeney, Director of Student Support
Renton School District, WA

"Through touching anecdotes and practical activities, Trujillo’s strengths-based approach conveys feasible strategies for improving schools: Start with positive regard, teach the social-emotional skills we want to see, and model these skills for students and colleagues."

Kent McIntosh, Co-Director
Office of Special Education Programs on PBIS - University of Oregon

"Start with the Heart is amazing and filled with practical information for educators. As Assistant Superintendent for Special Education, I purchased the book for every administrator in our district. Our school counselors want a copy and of course our teachers do as well!"

Dr. Betsy Gustafson, Assistant Superintendent of Special Education
Pocono Mountain School District, PA

"Every time I pick up this book and look at a few activities, I find myself getting neck strain, because I am so vigorously nodding my head in agreement! This is among the very best resources I have seen. Thank you for the true, inspiring, hope-igniting gift of this book and its insights."

Maurice Elias, Professor of Psychology and Director of Rutgers Social-Emotional and Character Development Lab
Rutgers University, NJ

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ISBN: 9781544352824

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