Responsive Classroom is grounded in the core belief that in order to be successful in and out of school, students need to learn a set of social and emotional competencies alongside academic competencies. In other words, learning skills such as cooperation, assertiveness, responsibility, empathy, and self-control is equally as important as learning how to develop an academic mindset, perseverance, learning strategies, and academic behaviors. How do we translate this to our work in our classrooms? By following these six guiding principles:
- Teaching social and emotional skills is as important as teaching academic content.
- How we teach is as important as what we teach.
- Great cognitive growth occurs through social interaction.
- How we work together as adults to create a safe, joyful, and inclusive school environment is as important as our individual contribution or competence.
- What we know and believe about our students — individually, culturally, developmentally — informs our expectations, reactions, and attitudes about those students.
- Partnering with families — knowing them and valuing their contributions — is as important as knowing the children we teach.
Over the course of the year, we will revisit these guiding principles and share tangible examples of what that work looks like here at Parker. Today, we will start with the precept that is already robustly at work in each of our classrooms — the creation of a safe, joyful and inclusive school environment.