“Educators need help from the community, social workers, school counselors, all of these other people to help effectively care for the Whole Child.”
In the field of education you will often hear the words “whole child.” The whole child essentially means that we need to consider the social/emotional and the academic needs of the child. Motivational speaker and author Diana Patton’s quote serves as a great reminder that it takes a village to care for the whole child through the teamwork in the relationships between the educators, community, social workers and school counselors. This care starts essentially from birth all the way until they become an adult. No one entity can do this alone.
For many years the academic needs has always been the dominating force and in a sense still is thanks to the reliance of state testing and assessments. I used to tell my students that I taught and my own daughter that a test will never define who they are and that they were more than a number. Dr. Bryan Pearlman wrote a book entitled Maslow Before Bloom and its focus is that human needs are needing to be addressed before learning can occur. I believe if the academics is considered the lock then Social Emotional Learning is the key.
As I mentioned earlier it is a team effort in developing the whole child. When I think of a great team I think of words like trustworthiness, strong communication skills, supportive and united. Each member brings their own strength and expertise to the table. There is no one size fits all to helping to develop the whole child because each child has different needs. I often say in the field of education we have to act like a chameleon and continuously adapt to the needs of our children in order to provide them the love and support that they need. And with all that is currently is happening in our world we are going to need to rely on that team in an effort to take care of the well being of children and their future.
What does this quote mean to you and how can you apply today’s message towards developing your relationship skills?