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CDL Digest - 4.14.23

What are students needing today?

I worked with a small group of educators yesterday and was surprised, but not really shocked, to hear that 9 of 20 students in a first-grade teacher’s class were in some type of treatment for anxiety. She remarked that establishing a grace-filled culture at the beginning of the year was a key goal for her group - she was taken aback by student responses at first that were immediate critique and condemnation toward other classmates as opposed to asking a clarifying question or giving someone time to explain themselves. What have you seen this year from your life among students?

Maybe we have it kind of backwards with the needs of kids the most important teaching we do each day on the playground/hallway/club as opposed to the classroom? We spend a lot of time on classroom preparation, but what if teaching someone how to get along with a neighbor or how to live in harmony, or to make restitution is really a more critical life skill we must help kids master? Instead of hiring aides as playground monitors so that the teacher can get a short break, might it be more important to have them in the classroom so that the teacher can take a short break there? Clearly (as they have always done), teachers, perhaps now more than ever, need to be dealing with the real-life issues that arise in unscripted situations.

In my geographic area, elementary education offered through the vehicle of outdoor learning is growing in popularity - and I live in Michigan, not Hawaii! I have been amazed at the many types of weather my little granddaughter, who attends a nature preschool, has been out in the past two years! What accounts for this popularity? Does this reflect a growing desire by parents that our students experience the real world and not one dominated by screens? If you regularly do outdoor learning in your setting, I would love to talk more with you!


An invitation from Steven and Joanna Levy - join us in our summer institute! Space is still available.


Editor's note about the Digest: We hope to share with you each week articles of interest that you may have missed. This will include current information as well as previous blog posts from CDL that perhaps you didn’t have time to read the first time around. If you have items you think may be of interest, please feel free to get in touch with me at We are also seeking blog writers for our blog posts which are published each week on Monday and Wednesday. For more info, see our guidelines.


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