As part of the dedication to her student's social-emotional learning (SEL), CDS 4th-grade teacher, Ms. Flansburg, has some traditions she's been doing for years. Every week one of her students takes a seat at the front of the class in the "sweet seat" and one by one each classmate says something nice about that student in the sweet seat. After each student has had a turn, Ms. Flansburg asks the "sweet seat" student how those comments made him/her feel? It's a beautiful tradition and one that has created a classroom environment filled with respect, appreciation of one another, and confidence in her students. Ms. Flansburg also takes the "temperature" of each of her students. Is today a 2 or 3 and could use some improvement? Or are you a 10 and why? What's something you appreciate?
Over her 20 years at CDS, Ms. Flansburg has come to realize that developing her student's social-emotional intelligence and well-being is just as important as reinforcing and learning mathematics and language arts. "What has happened in my classroom over the years of doing the sweet seat and temperature exercises is that each student really sees their fellow classmates. They find qualities they want to celebrate in each other and it also makes them realize the types of qualities they want to be recognized for. The environment in the classroom as a whole becomes a very kind and supportive place. That's what I want my students to feel every day. Not just from me, but from their peers."
And it seems to be working. Ms. Flansburg also rewards her students when they get 15 unsolicited class compliments with a "Compliment Party." Today was their second one this year! Keep up the great work Ms. Flansburg's class.
Ms. Flansburg has been a teacher at CDS since 2001. Thank you for facilitating this beautiful lesson.