June 22, 2022

"The... teacher... said, 'O.K., everyone, now we’re going to check in with how we feel we are doing in the "Best Self" exercise.'"

"A self-assessment of the self-assessment.... Afterward, a group left with one of the teachers to visit the 'sensory hallway,' an obstacle course of self-examination. On the way, they passed relics of previous emotional inquiries. A large poster board with the word 'Anxious' hung outside a classroom. One student had written, 'What if nobody likes me. What if that happens.' The first activity was emotional hopscotch—students jumped on a square that represented how they were feeling. The first few jumped on 'Happy!' A boy named JJ jumped on the square that said 'Sad.'... Next activity: a 'disposition board,' where the kids had to hop to positive-attitude words on the floor and say them out loud: 'Generosity!' 'Forgiveness!' 'Presence!' The last hallway station was an oversized Scrabble board attached to the wall, where students would decide on a collective mood.... After a brief but earnest deliberation, the kids decided on 'upbeat.' There was one dissenter. 'I am not upbeat,' JJ declared. He carried some giant letters to a faraway spot on the board and spelled out 'd-i-s-a-p-o-n-t-e-d.'"

From "Readin’, Writin’, and Regulatin’ Emotions/As Eric Adams, who has advocated for daily meditation in public schools, pushes mindfulness classes, the third graders at P.S. 60 in Staten Island assembled for a lesson on identifying and coping with their feelings" (The New Yorker).

34 comments:

FleetUSA said...

This in place of reading, writing, and arithmetic.

Andrew said...

Listening to Eric Adams talk, I'm not surprised that he eschews regular reading and writing classes.

traditionalguy said...

Controllers of thoughts is now what government schools replace them real teachers with. Who thought this insanity up?

Rory said...

You have to wonder what's going on in the teachers' minds. About the best you could say is that they're babysitters. But do the teachers see themselves as babysitters? Do they think they're doing some deep prep work that will lead to the kids understanding fractions two years down the line? Or are the kids just irrelevant to the job?

Wince said...

The first activity was emotional hopscotch—students jumped on a square that represented how they were feeling.

Reminds me of the "Jump to Conclusions Mat."

Mark said...

"This in place of reading, writing, and arithmetic."

The Supreme Court seems to have inserted faith and morality into that lineup with yesterday's ruling.

I don't hear a lot of complaints about private schools taking voucher money inserting non RWR subjects into their teaching ... just public schools.

Krumhorn said...

I’m starting to come around to rhhardin’s views on the consequences of giving women the right to vote.

- Krumhorn

Krumhorn said...

There are many extraordinarily capable women voters among the Althouse commentariat, but they are vastly outnumbered by our sisters and wives for whom everything is about their feelings. Having the emotional intelligence that would barely fill a teaspoon myself, I am a superb voter.

- Krumhorn

Jamie said...

Your tax dollars at work.

I am in favor of emotional awareness (maybe because I'm a chick). I am in favor of (especially primary-level - by college, your mental state is your business, or your problem, though of course I loved my profs who actually seemed to care how we were all doing, again maybe because I'm a chick) teachers' awareness of their students' mental states, and all the best teachers either have this skill or develop it.

But I am against using early childhood education time, when children are supposed to be learning the tools that will enable them to learn everything else, to focus on their emotions.

Jamie said...

I’m starting to come around to rhhardin’s views on the consequences of giving women the right to vote.

- Krumhorn


To my horror, I'm no longer just dismissing those views out of hand.

JRoberts said...

"The Supreme Court seems to have inserted faith and morality into that lineup with yesterday's ruling"

Mark, I'm not a Constitutional Law Professor, but your comment says more about your religious bigotry than about the SCOTUS ruling.

Tom T. said...

There is nothing new here but the labels. Historically, schools have always taught good behavior. If they called it "deportment" instead of "mindfulness," everyone here would think it was great.

Joe Smith said...

Child abuse.

Teach kids to fucking read and do long division.

Howard said...

You people obviously didn't get the benefit of early childhood emotional intelligence education. As far as blaming women voters, that's a cuckout complaining over and over again about something that is impossible to prove or disprove and cannot possibly be changed: isn't that the stereotypical behavior of a PMSing nagging hairpie? The cure for that level of softness is to go put your dick in the dirt.

Cappy said...

Mindlessness classes?

Jamie said...

There is nothing new here but the labels. Historically, schools have always taught good behavior. If they called it "deportment" instead of "mindfulness," everyone here would think it was great.

There's a world of difference between teaching "deportment" through allowing acceptable behavior and not allowing unacceptable behavior - a simple feedback mechanism that virtually all young children understand - and taking this much time to celebrate everyone's feelings and do a big "free to be you and me" lesson.

Deportment=behavior. This series of exercises is only teaching "you have feelings. Other people have feelings. They're feelings may not be the same as yours, and that's okay." This lesson is the human condition, gleaned naturally by virtually every child (not the psychopaths, not some with certain cognitive or emotional conditions, and these kids may indeed need help with it and a good teacher will work to recognize them) at about this age.

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

I'm all for meditation and or/any form of prayer.
Often the reason many parents seek better private school options is because the local green haired public schools are a nightmare in every direction.

Some parents, who may not be religious, are fine with a private religious school because it offers reading, writing and arithmetic with excellent teachers. That some religious history and classes are mixed in, isn't that big of a deal.

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

I don't hear a lot of complaints about private schools taking voucher money inserting non RWR subjects into their teaching ... just public schools.

Because the private schools actually concentrate heavily on the RWR and simultaneously demand good behavior, which leaves plenty of time for elective subjects. And if basics aren’t met private schools tend to be more responsive to their customers than public schools are to the parents and guardians of their pupils. Swing and a miss, Mark.

Not Sure said...

Howard: isn't that the stereotypical behavior of a PMSing nagging hairpie?

Shockingly misogynistic.

Also, I'd have expected a Boomer to be a fan of the Maria Schneider look.

Not Sure said...

Screening for the likeliest school shooters?

ccscientist said...

This type of stuff makes kids worse. It causes them to navel gaze, to have unrealistic expectations, to be overly sensitive. What kids need is self-reliance, mental toughness, and problem solving skill.

Paddy O said...

1) understanding our emotions is a really significant task, and the more a person does so, the more they really are able to address the core issues in life. Emotions are never actually repressed, they come out one way or another, very often disassociated with the actual reality (feeling frustrated at work expressed as anger toward spouse or kids, etc.)

2) Emotions can be manipulated as easy as reason can be, so bad teaching about emotions is like bad teaching about history, it can lead to more problems rather than helping. I remember when my daughter was young, she loved the rain, wasn't scared of anything, but then watched a show that was about a character who was afraid of thunder, and she became afraid of thunder. The worst emotional manipulative show was Daniel Tiger, which always seemed to coddle his sociopathic narcissism in feel-good emotional language. When kids walk past posters talking about anxiety, and teachers show attention to kids who express anxiety, guess what a lot of kids will start 'feeling'. Which seems nice and good, they are vocalizing their fears, but it's disassociated emotions, where they actually are wanting attention/approval/inclusion.

LA_Bob said...

I can't believe Eric Adams was supposed to be the guy to bring "moderation" back to NYC after Bill deBlasio.

It's a shame Rudy Giuliani grew old. He at least had a notion about what a New York City mayor should do.

mikee said...

This is a wonderful example of faking it until ya (hopefully) make it.

Thinking that self-reporting on surveys is anything close to factual is foolish. Kids make stuff up all the time. The only way to get honest data on kids is to do double blind, well controlled, objective behavioral observations, preferably measurements of time to accomplish an activity. And even then a kid may be goofing off while observed, pretending to be a dinosaur, which would make the results unreliable.

Temujin said...

My God. We're training them to be insecure from the get-go. I'm sure a Drag Queen Reading Hour later in the day will sooth them and give them something to grab onto. So to speak.

Free Manure While You Wait! said...

"The cure for that level of softness is to go put your dick in the dirt."

And Howard knows exactly what that's like.

Tina Trent said...

Our last hope is that somehow Crack MC gets this job.

Mo said...

Only 41% of students at PS 60 are proficient in math and 53% in reading. And that was for the 2018-19 school year, before Covid learning loss.

https://www.publicschoolreview.com/p-s-60-alice-austen-profile

And yet they spend their time playing emotional hopscotch. The misspelling of “disappointed” is a bit too on the nose.

n.n said...

A religious retreat inculcating a behavioral protocol to an immature, captive audience. Choose your principles, parents?

Jupiter said...

The public schools are shitholes. They can't be saved, they must be abandoned.

Rabel said...

“In our units, we use a social justice standards, which are geared to make kids better. We focus on diversity, identity, justice and action, which I think is making a difference in kids’ lives through acceptance and wanting to know about others as well as themselves,” said P.S. 60 Principal Donna Bonanno.

D-i-s-a-p-o-n-t-i-n-g.

RigelDog said...

Tom T. said: "There is nothing new here but the labels. Historically, schools have always taught good behavior. If they called it "deportment" instead of "mindfulness," everyone here would think it was great."

I respectfully disagree entirely.
First, the teachers are not teaching "behavior" (or deportment), they are teaching a version of "emotional learning."
I think that teaching children ABOUT emotions is valid and should be woven into everyday lessons as may be relevant and at age-appropriate levels. For instance, in discussions about what a story's character may be feeling and how that relates to actions or as a part of teaching physical/mental health.
HOWEVER, it's wrong and a tremendous violation of a student's dignity and inherent right to privacy to make them identify their OWN emotions right then and there, in front of 30 other peers and a few adults. Teachers have no right to pry into a kid's head. I don't know about everyone else, but as an introverted nerdy kid, I not only would have been mortified to be made to talk about my feelings. And I can guarantee you that they usual class jagoffs would have used kid's revelations of their innermost thoughts and emotions to mock them without end.

Michael K said...

Only 41% of students at PS 60 are proficient in math and 53% in reading. And that was for the 2018-19 school year, before Covid learning loss.

I wonder how the teachers would do if tested ? My ex-wife went back to teaching briefly in CA 20 years ago. To qualify, each teacher candidate had to pass a test called "CBEST." She said it was about 8th grade level. There was a big flap from the usual suspects that it was "racist." That was long before the present idiocy.

Marc said...

My suggestion is that schools adopt the Jesuits' Ratio ac Institutio Studiorum (1832 version, with whatever emendations may be necessary for the 2022-2023 school year), none of this emotional learning nonsense; I expect the teachers unions would have violent fits of rage. This ought to have been done at the first whiff of plague-caused school closures, when those indulging their rage could have been fired outright without too much harm done to the children staying at home.