At New York Academy, we aim to support and strengthen students’ social and emotional growth. As I have written in several of my blogs, when students feel socially and emotionally confident and secure, they are better able to achieve academic growth. The question becomes, “What does it mean to be socially and emotionally strong?”
A big part of this is a student feeling a sense of belonging within the school community. With a sense of belonging at school, students are more likely to be ready to learn. At New York Academy, we strive to help students know that what they feel and have to say is valued. We guide our students to respect others as they learn to respect themselves.
“As human beings, one of the most essential needs we have is the need to belong,” said Dr. Linda Darling-Hammond, President and CEO of the Learning Policy Institute in an Edutopia video series on the science of learning. “When that sense of belonging is there, children throw themselves into the learning environment and when that sense of belonging is not there, children will alienate, they will marginalize, they will step back.”
The workshop approach to learning at New York Academy engages students in cooperative learning; they are expected to be respectful, active listeners, and collaborators – always mindful of one another’s need to have a sense of belonging.
We are explicit and intentional guiding our students to grow their perspective and empathy for classmates, teachers, and their community.
At New York Academy, every student, every teacher, every staff member, and every parent belongs.