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Anti-bullying week – November 12th-16th

Anti-bullying week is an opportunity for parents, teachers and leaders in the education field to reflect on our existing policies and frameworks, and to ask ourselves what measures are we taking to ensure that students feel safe in and outside of the classroom. Educators are grappling with how to best provide young people with the tools they need to build resilience in the face of adversity, particularly at a time where bullying is prevalent both in-person and online. One of the ways The Learning Partnership has sought to address this need is by creating programs that utilize the systemic social-emotional learning (SEL) framework.  By incorporating a SEL framework, The Learning Partnership aims to provide students with inclusive platforms and outlets to collaborate in safe spaces and discuss the issues that they may be facing both in their academic and personal lives.   

As defined by the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL), SEL is a process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.¹ The concept of SEL can be broken down into five core competencies: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills and responsible decision-making.² The classroom-integrated approach of these five areas is to strengthen students’ abilities to integrate skills, attitudes and behaviors to deal effectively and ethically with both the warranted and unwarranted trials and tribulations that one may encounter. In a society where groups are often at odds in beliefs, values and attitudes, it is essential to expose students to SEL competencies that will help them develop their emotional intelligence, and ultimately navigate and overcome social situations more successfully.
Turning Points is a national program offered by The Learning Partnership to Grade 6-12 students in Canadian public schools, where the mission is to empower students to share their personal stories in the pursuit of strengthening character awareness, resiliency and literacy. With the support of their peers and teachers, students are encouraged to open up about significant events or experiences by writing a personal essay. Written self-expression is a powerful SEL technique that promotes the first aforementioned core competency (self-awareness) and has proven an effective medium for students in displaying both empathy and an understanding of oneself. Above all, Turning Points helps students find the confidence to voice their experiences and to use writing as a tool to overcome these hardships.  
The powerful 2018 Turning Points Anthology is available now: https://indd.adobe.com/view/f9707e5c-9b02-4c7d-a372-352e3b4c750f