Heart-Mind Well-Being: A Powerful Tool for Educators

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The Heart-Mind Well-Being “heart” is a powerful tool for fostering social and emotional development and well-being in children, youth and adults. It was created as a visual representation of five positive human qualities that researcher from the fields of developmental and educational psychology and human development tell us are essential to promoting overall well-being. The heart framework offers a way for caring adults to organize, plan and inspire to create environments and opportunities that contribute to healthy learning and development.

Here are 7 ways that Educators use the Heart-Mind Well-being Framework:

1. Organize lesson plans or activity themes that promote the 5 qualities through the week, month or year.
 
2. Balance priorities (in a school or across a district) with a holistic view of a child’s social and emotional learning.
 
3. Choose and promote children’s literature for Heart-Mind learning by fostering language and literacy[1] alongside social and emotional skill development.
 
4. Set expectations and standards of behaviour and attitude for both students and staff, by linking them with specific skills and strategies that support each quality.
 
5. Integrate a Heart-Mind Well-being focus into content and learning objectives by applying subjects such as art, reading, writing, math, science or language skill development in engaging Heart-Mind Well-being projects[2].
 
6. Display the Heart Mind Well-Being “heart” in your classroom and school. Make it part of your “hidden curriculum” or, in other words, the implicit messages that children pick up from their environment through visuals, words, celebrations and behaviours.
 
7. Adopt the Heart-Mind framework as a workplace wellness initiative, planning professional development and personal development opportunities for adults to increase their own Heart-Mind Well-being.


Download your printable Heart-Mind well-being poster! 

Take advantage of the Heart-Mind Book lists - librarian recommended choices that foster Heart-Mind well-being.

 

  • Secure and Calm

    Secure and calm describes the ability to take part in daily activities and approach new situations without being overwhelmed with worries, sadness or anxiety. To be secure and calm also means being able to cope with stress and pressure, and to bounce back from difficulties.
  • Gets Along with Others

    Getting along with others is the ability to form positive and healthy relationships with peers and adults. Children with better abilities to regulate their emotions and behaviours have more friends and experience more positive playtime with their peers.
  • Alert and Engaged

    Being alert and engaged is the ability to manage and direct one's own feelings, thoughts and emotions. In general, the ability to be 'present' and to exercise self-control.
  • Compassionate and Kind

    Being compassionate and kind is closely related to empathy. While empathy refers more generally to the ability to take the perspective of and to feel the emotions of another person, compassion goes one step further.
  • Solves Problems Peacefully

    Managing conflict effectively is about creating an atmosphere where violence and aggression are not likely. To resolve conflict means using empathy, problem-solving skills, understanding other points of view and coming up with ways to make things right in a fair way.