Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Trim: 6 x 8¾
978-1-4758-4046-9 • Hardback • May 2019 • $67.00 • (£52.00)
978-1-4758-4047-6 • Paperback • May 2019 • $34.00 • (£26.00)
978-1-4758-4048-3 • eBook • May 2019 • $32.00 • (£25.00)
Kristin Stuart Valdes is an artist and educator who began her work in the New York City public schools as a teaching artist, in the disciplines of theater and creative writing, working with Henry Street Settlement and Teachers and Writers Collaborative. She began her work in the field of social emotional learning while working with students who had witnessed 9/11 from their school building and who ended up calling one another “terrorists” in its aftermath. She has a deep interest in the roles that cultural practice, language, ethnicity, and class all play in the way we interact with one another, and in the way creativity contributes to our ability to resolve social and emotional problems effectively.
She was the Senior Program Manager of the 4Rs+MTP research study, funded by the US Department of Education, which delivered a social emotional learning program and 1:1 coaching to teachers who delivered it, in over 60 public schools in the Bronx. She has worked with Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility and the National School Climate Center as a senior staff developer and contributing writer. With Teachstone she has served as a mentor coach on a wide range of projects including working with Native American teachers on Native American land.
Also an award winning screenwriter and music-theater maker her work had been recognized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and presented at venues including Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and the Brooklyn Academy of Music. She is a certified CLASS Observer and Trainer, a Part 137 Mediator for the NYC courts, and holds a BFA and MFA NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.
Part I: Foundations
Chapter 1: Why and How Should We Teach Social and Emotional Skills?
Chapter 2: Social and Emotional Learning Role Plays
Chapter 3: Facilitating Collaborative, Creative, and Experiential Learning
Chapter 4: Social and Emotional Learning and Culturally Responsive Pedagogy
Part II: SEL Role Plays for the Classroom
Chapter 5: Curriculum Organization
Chapter 6: The Lessons
Identity and Assumptions
Expanding Our Emotional Vocabulary
Understanding Our Underlying Needs
Deep Breathing and Meditation
Identity, Skin Color, and Culture
Self Talk and Shifting Mindsets
Understanding Fear and Anxiety Stress
Coping Strategies for Anger, Fear, and Sadness
Rules and Norms
Emotional Display Rules
The Power of “No”
Setting Personal Boundaries
I Feel Messages
Passive /Assertive /Aggressive
Safe Ways to be and Ally
Identifying Underlying Causes
Wants, Needs, Priorities
I Need Messages
Standing Up to Oppression
About the Author
Over the last fifteen years Kristin Stuart Valdes has worked with K-12 educators to promote children’s social, emotional, and academic learning. In Humanizing the Classroom, she synthesizes the many extraordinary lessons she has learned about how to practically promote middle and high school students social, emotional, and academic skills, knowledge, and dispositions. She is importantly and helpfully attuned to educational equity reform issues. I highly recommend this practical, thoughtful, and wise book that will help teachers- and potentially parents - to further social, emotional, and academic competencies. A foundation for school and life success!
— Jonathan Cohen Ph.D., Co-President, International Observatory for School Climate and Violent Prevention
In Humanizing the Classroom, Kristin Stuart Valdes provides a valuable resource for teachers who want to help students develop stronger social and emotional skills. The extensive list of role plays includes ideas for how to direct them—a great help for teachers seeking to foster skills like self-management and social awareness.
— Tom Berger, executive editor, Edutopia
In Humanizing the Classroom, Ms. Valdes provides key insights about the importance and challenges of social-emotional learning (SEL) in K-12 education. This work is gleaned from her years of practice implementing SEL programs with public school administrators, teachers, and children. Ms. Valdes elevates the recognition of teachers, and their own social-emotional competencies and well-being as pivotal in the process of learning how to teach and ultimately promote social-emotional skills for children and youth, and the unique challenges and vulnerability SEL pedagogy can require of teachers. She provides a compelling analysis of role play strategies in SEL, and makes a cogent argument for the use of role plays as deliberate but safe ways for students to actively engage and practice evaluating and making decisions in social situations that are relevant to their lived experience. This book affords tools that will be useful to novice and veteran teachers alike, as well as school leaders to better understand why SEL should be a critical part of every child's education and how it can be in their schools.
— Joshua L. Brown, associate professor, Director, Applied Developmental Psychology, Fordham University
Kristin Stuart Valdes has produced a practical, engaging book on the use of role plays in secondary classrooms to cultivate social-emotional skills. Thoughtfully organized around the five SEL competencies identified by the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning, the book offers a rare opportunity for middle and high school teachers to expand their pedagogical toolkit with applied strategies to help students learn and practice SEL skills ranging from persistence to understanding bias. Drawing from years of personal experience partnering with schools to integrate SEL into everyday practices, Kristin Stuart Valdes delivers a set of creative role play activities accompanied by detailed nuts and bolts guidance that is sure to help teachers weave social-emotional learning into a typical day in their classroom.
— Jason T. Downer, professor of education, director, Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning, University of Virginia
As the country tries to address educational inequities and SEL gains popularity on the state and national level, the need for educators trained in social and emotional learning skills has grown. Humanizing the Classroom made me realize that educational theater practitioners and actors could be a valuable resource on the path to equitably transmit social and emotional learning in our schools. Actors walk in a new person’s shoes with every character they play, they are experts at practicing empathy. And living empathically is something we could all stand to learn a little more about right now. Humanizing the Classroom should be required reading for all of us!
— John Cariani, Broadway and TV actor, playwright of "Almost, Maine"