Generation Wellness Blog

Equipping students + staff with the tools to thrive in school + in life. We are the generation of wellness.

[RESOURCE] Empathy vs. Sympathy with Brene Brown


A great video to share with staff as we start a new school year filled with change, challenges, and the potential for transformation. Staff and students are stressed. Connection and empathy are going to be our super powers this school year.

[0:15] Empathy fuels connection.

[0:17] Sympathy drives disconnection

[0:30] 4 qualities of empathy

[1:00-2:30] Examples that show how empathy and sympathy are different.

Soul Pancake researched the effects of sympathy vs. empathy and on average people who received sympathy were less happy than people (happiness dropped by -6.71%) who received empathy (happiness increased by +6.92%). What is the different between sympathy and empathy? Empathy fuels connection while sympathy drives disconnection.

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[EXPERIMENT] Empathy in Action

This month’s experiment is about connecting with 1-3 people and sharpening our empathy super powers. What better time to do this than right now during so much uncertainty, stress, and grief with the pandemic? Everyone is facing some type of battle and connection is the key.

“Empathy is a way to connect to the emotion another person is experiencing; it doesn’t require that we have experienced the same situation they are going through.” -Brene Brown

Empathy is not trying to fix the problem or share your story, rather it’s about listening for understanding, validating emotions, and expressing words, body language, and tone that create a sense of “feeling felt”.

[EXPERIMENT] The invitation is to reach out to 1-3 people and connect with them. Maybe ask about their “rose” and “thorn” or “high” and “low” during this pandemic. Practice empathizing vs. sympathizing to increase feeling seen, heard,...

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[SPOTLIGHT] Tumwater School District: Staying Well During A Pandemic

 

While all of us are familiar with the recommendations to stay physically healthy - wash your hands, cover your cough, practice social distancing, sanitize high-touch areas - Tumwater School District quickly realized that we also need to tend to the social/emotional health needs of our staff, students and their families. Being hurled into completely unknown territory - some dealing with the stresses of a lost job, sick loved ones, anxiety, and more - Tumwater School District quickly partnered with Lyndsay Morris, Founder of Generation Wellness and BHHS alumni, to address these important aspects.

TSD has committed to staff, student and community wellness by utilizing a phase-in system to provide ongoing resources, utilizing grant funds, as they endure the challenges of the pandemic:

Phase 1: Staff Wellness 

Learn more about the Workplace Wellness Academy here.

Phase 2: Family Wellness

Learn more about the Family Wellness Toolkit here.

Phase 3: School...

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[TED Talk] Why Aren't We Teaching You Mindfulness?

QUOTABLE: "Childhood self-control predicts physical health, personal wealth and public safety. Self-control is more important than intelligence and social class."

This TED Talk walks through the benefits of teaching mindfulness to our students and challenges the idea of why we don't do it more often. Our focus is often on the test scores, the quality of a paper, or the ability to spell properly. The skills underneath all of those standards can be achieved through mindfulness.  Mindfulness is the foundation of all learning, it is teaching others how to pay attention, focus, attain to a task, and retain information. In turn, these skills will help students accomplish those academic tasks, and become more successful adults.


SOURCE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-yJPcdiLEkI

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[EXPERIMENT] Close Out the School Year with this Reflection Practice

This school year was different than most. Never have we ended in-person learning in March due to a pandemic. More than likely, you’ve experienced a combination of frustration, joy, sadness, early mornings, late nights, confusion, resiliency, uncertainty, ups and downs...

There were lessons, there were pivotal moments and there was simply just never enough time. This school year will never happen again - your students are different now and so are you. Take some time to capture the lessons, so that you can create an even better school year to come.

REFLECTION EXPERIMENT:
Take a moment to reflect on your school year. Answer some or all of these questions over summer break:

  • What created the most joy this school year?
  • What was my greatest challenge?
  • What was my biggest lesson this year?
  • How did I show up effectively for my students?
  • How did I show up ineffectively for my students?
  • What is one thing I’m proud of?
  • What will I do more of next school year?
  • What will I do...
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District-Wide Wellness Plan for Fall 2020

Wellness is the foundation for learning and thriving. During Covid-19, many students, staff, and families have experienced stress, grief, and trauma. What is your school doing to intentionally address wellness and social/emotional learning? School districts need a strategy and online resources for staff, student, and community wellness. Generation Wellness has partnered with government agencies and school districts around the country to provide support in three phrases: 

  • Phase 1: Staff Wellness: All district staff will have access to Workplace Wellness Academy (online course).
  • Phase 2: Family Wellness: All families with students enrolled in the district will have access to the Family Wellness Toolkit which includes morning messages, social/emotional mini-videos, audio relaxations, daily routines, and more.
  • Phase 3: Start the school year with safety, connection, reflection, and tools: Every staff member will experience a live virtual PD at the beginning of the school year...
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[FREE WEBINAR] Let’s Talk About It

 

Like many, we've struggled to find the right words to support our students, families, and communities during this past week of heartache in the United States. We've heard from many educators who serve these young men and women. Here's what they've said:

  • "I pride myself on being a leader, yet I don't know what to do right now to lead."
  • "I'm a Caucasian educator and I don’t want to say the wrong thing."
  • "I'm an African American educator and I wish other people understood ____________."
  • "My husband is a police officer and I also believe that black lives matter."
  • My students are sharing their emotions and experiences on Zoom. How can I provide support?"
  • "I’m afraid of being shamed or criticized for my lack of knowledge and experiences."

Last week we hosted a 90 minute discussion for 500 educators (video clip above). The response was overwhelming and many of you expressed interest in another "Le't Talk About It" session.

You're invited to a safe space to talk about it. Rjay...

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[SPOTLIGHT] Bridget Schroedel, Assistant Principal

 

Generation Wellness Spotlight: Bridget Schroedel believes that discipline means to teach, not to shame. She is an innovative administrator bringing simple tools and interventions to her school and community that are creating massive impact. One example: After attending the Generation Wellness training in 2019, Bridget and staff dedicated an entire classroom to teaching and learning self-regulation. Their behavior referrals have decreased by 50% in just four months of implementation. Thank you for your dedication to a generation of wellness and sharing your shine with the world!

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[VIDEO] Decrease Truancy + Suspension Rates by Half with This Simple Practice

Surrounded by poverty and escalating violence, a San Francisco middle school committed to peace and embraced a program of meditation that has made students feel safer, teachers more productive, and brought unity and purpose to the school.

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U9-phWL8t08&feature=youtu.be

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[SPOTLIGHT] Educating the Whole Child District-Wide with Beth Bourque

 
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