Building connectedness in schools
Start a dynamic process of dialogue designed to support, inspire and promote positive changes in our children’s lives
Insightful and practical stories that address the most important element in the social-emotional needs of kids in schools… and life… connection. As an instructor colleague of Bev’s for many years in City University’s Masters in School Counselling, I have witnessed how this message of connection has impacted the teacher-counsellors we work with.
Fostering connection and creating safe inclusive schools is the cornerstone of how we support the mental health of young people.
The pandemic and race/equity concerns have only highlighted how important this message continues to be.
Stan Watchorn, EdD, Elementary School Principal
About the author
Recently retired as District Counsellor with the Burnaby School District in BC, Bev has devoted her career to dealing with the concerns of parents, kids and teachers. As an Associate Professor and Principal Faculty at City University of Seattle in Canada, Bev encourages school counsellor interns to get education back on track, highlighting the importance of having schools with a human and heartfelt focus.
She introduces the notion of ConnectZones: nurturing communities of care and inclusive places of learning and development where meaningful relationships are valued, and there is a sense of safety, belonging and significance.
This powerful book has a simple, yet profound message that all educators, administrators and school counsellors need to read. It demonstrates the transformative power of relationships and connection in creating a secure bond that enables all children—including the most vulnerable—to thrive. Bev shows us how to cultivate connectedness and to soften our hearts in all our relationships—in our schools, communities and families.
Jill Taggart, PhD, RCC, Professor & Director of Canadian Education Programs, City University of Seattle in Canada
Next to family nurturance, school connectedness is the most important protective factor in a child’s life. This book, through its evidence base, compelling stories and profound insights, reminds us of the vital importance of cultivating connectedness for our young people, and of having practical tools and processes for doing so.
Cindy Andrew, Program Consultant, Centre for Addictions Research of BC at University of Victoria and the Psychology Foundation of Canada
What's in this book
This book was written to inspire a social movement that champions a culture in which connectedness is valued above all—a movement that builds the most important organization of all: the family. The author and contributors want to win hearts and minds, to inspire people to get back to the basics—to their hearts—to better understand the nature and power of relationships and to connect with each other.
ConnectZones: Building connectedness in schools is about the need to make a paradigm shift by challenging the status quo and changing many of the policies and practices that exist in our education system. Although educators take great pride in the notion of working together to explore the possibilities for helping children to succeed in school, I have never been more concerned about how disconnected we are from each other. This book provides tools, inspiration and examples of how connectedness can be built in schools even during unprecedented times such as a pandemic, with priceless benefits for children, parents, teachers and the community as a whole.
New for 2022
Part 4. Fostering an Inclusive and Caring Environment in Unprecedented Times
Connecting through a pandemic
Sharing a light on mental health: coping through COVID
Covid-19 has unleashed undeniable challenges worldwide. Life as we knew it has changed forever. We have seen a surge in child hunger, a mass racial uprising and an attempted insurrection in the US. The pandemic has opened our eyes to unjust economic and political systems that create disparities in income, housing, education, health and well-being.
Without a doubt, the pandemic has exposed us to the essential truth that human beings need each other and to the importance of putting relationships first even in crazy times.
Educators are seeing in the pandemic an opportunity to unify students and improve their learning experience. They are actively partnering with the community to ensure support systems are in place to buffer the enormous stress children and families are under, including additional supports for those who are socially isolated. They are connecting families to healthcare, setting up food pantries and deliveries, and bridging technology gaps to keep education going for students.
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