Back-To-School Book SELections

First things first; thank you, Barbie and Betty, for posting those promising practices about teaching empathy on our previous post. You BOTH have a book coming your way since I decided to match my publisher’s gift. Reach out to me at bgruener5 (at) gmail.com with your postal address and I’ll pop those into our next shipment. Congrats and happy reading.

Speaking of reading, I curated a Back-to-School SEL calendar around school-themed books that can help you foster a caring climate and classroom community with your learners of all ages. Click {here} for your freebie download.

What are YOUR key read-alouds as you help your learners transition back to school, get acquainted with one another, make those compassionate connections, and settle in to a new school year?

Mr. Quigley Down Under

Can YOU feel the frisson of JOY at seeing this passionate educator with our story in her smile and hands down under, in Australia? Chill bumps deep in the heart of TX.

I’ve been overflowing with gratitude and love as Mr. Quigley’s Keys jingles into the hearts of people everywhere. Our PLN friend Carolyn in CA included it in this post of her picks for the Best Books to teach empathy, inclusion, kindness, friendship and love. My heart could burst that KEYS has a place at the table with these epic books, like Have You Filled A Bucket Today? by my friend Carol McCloud. Bucket at its brim!

My daughter made us a beautiful book trailer, CharacterStrong is looking to add it to their list of book recommendations that enrich our empathy arsenal, and a colleague in WI is potentially adding it to a curriculum she’s writing for a non-profit that showcases acceptance around differing abilities. Deep, heavy sigh.

What’s your favorite way to teach that empathy is all about switching places with another person? One of mine is the empathy switch. It’s so much fun to watch the productive struggle at they put “you” on one hand (pinky up) and “themselves” on the other (thumbs up) then attempt to switch them simultaneously.

Too easy? Try putting the peace sign on one hand and a high five on the other, then switch. Get ready for groans of “this is too hard” or “I can’t do this,” the perfect setup for your response that empathy is hard at first, too, but with practice you get better at listening to understand, at feeling with without trying to fix, at holding space and letting another know that they aren’t alone.

With all of these good vibes, it feels like the perfect time for a giveaway, courtesy of our publisher, EduMatch.

For your chance to win an author-signed copy of Mr. Quigley’s Keys, simply leave a comment on this page between now and Friday, July 16th at noon {CST} telling us your favorite book or enrichment activity for elevating that glorious skill of empathy within your orbit, at school, at work or at home.

This giveaway is now closed; BOTH of our commenters have a book coming their way!