Long-time Area Teacher To Host Discussion On Education

By: Zachary Meseck

Long-time area teacher to host discussion on education (Zachary Meseck Photo)

NORWICH – A local teacher with nearly 40 years of experience will host a discussion next Friday for those hoping to inspire young minds and fill an emotional void he says many students face on a daily basis.

On Friday, August 16, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the SUNY Morrisville Norwich Campus, Otselic Valley Teacher and Morrisville Professor Michael Foor-Pessin will discuss storytelling, emotional wellbeing, and social skills in the classroom.

"Together, we will develop some specific strategies that will allow us to simultaneously explore the emotional and spiritual landscapes of our students while enhancing the academic rigor and the pace of learning," he said. "Satisfying both the emotional and academic needs of our students will enable us to create a transformational environment that will extend our students' cosmologies so that each of them will journey with confidence into adulthood with the necessary skills."

Foor-Pessin said the New York State Education Department is in the process of unveiling and implementing its Social Emotional Learning (SEL) benchmarks because it recognizes that the academic success of students is largely dependent on the social wellbeing and social skill.

"While the scope of the best practices investigated in our talk extends well beyond the SEL benchmarks, it does provide a pedagogical template for how to implement the goals of the benchmark," he said. "The teaching field has changed. We have young people who are growing up with a flow of constant negativity from social media and the news."

Foor-Pessin said young people are internalizing that negativity, and aren't able to express their emotions which is taking a toll on their performances in academics and in life.

According to the New York State Education website, nysed.gov, the goals highlighted in SEL benchmarks would include developing self-awareness and self-management skills essential to success in school and in life, using social awareness and interpersonal skills to establish and maintain positive relationships, and demonstrating ethical decision-making skills and responsible behaviors in personal, school, and community contexts.

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