"You will be a principal one day and will be blogging about your journey."
If I had heard these words early in my career I would have never believed it, but here I am! As the principal of Fall-Hamilton Elementary, a small urban school in Nashville where 70 percent of students come from underprivileged homes and 80 percent are minorities, I get the privilege of high fiving and hugging nearly 320 students in pre-k to 4th grade, every single morning. I am fortunate to work with and learn from some of the most talented, collaborative, innovative, and passionate staff in education. Over the next several months I will be sharing my school's story and our successes - and failures - as we strive to meet the needs of all our students.
In the last few months in my first year as principal, my school began to engage in professional learning around adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) out of the understanding that what we were doing wasn't working for kids or adults. We wanted to understand how our students' experiences affected them academically, socially, and emotionally. Current science shows adverse experiences can impact students' behavior, ability to build positive relationships, and academic success, among many other things. Two years later, my school strives daily to become a trauma-informed school that ensures that students' social and emotional needs are met so their academics can blossom, as documented in a series of videos produced by the National Commission and Edutopia. And although our support is focused primarily on students, we realize we must also focus on adults.
[For more on this story by @Mathew Portell, go to http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek...nal_support_too.html]