A little stress is a good thing…but

Harvard Center on the Developing Child has a wide range of resources helpful for teachers, parents, and students. The center identifies three levels of response to stress.

While we may be adding what seems to be a very light load of stress to a student from our perspective, a bit of homework here, a quick quiz there, a classroom presentation, or just asking a question in class what we are unable to easily identify is what level of stress we are adding to…for each student.

It is clear that each student is unique, no two homes are alike, no two snowflakes are alike and though it’s challenging to figure out in a 185-190 day school year, no two students hear and process exactly what we say or ask of them the same way.

Image from the Harvard Center for on the Developing Child

Another way to think of these levels of stress is represented in this graphic from Alberta Family Wellness:


Perhaps one of the most profound bodies of research on Toxic stress is the Adverse Childhood Experiences or ACE study.  There will be more posts on this in the near future but consider this Ted Talk by Dr. Nadine Burke Harris as one introduction.

I will refer back to this site more in the future but take a peek – http://www.albertafamilywellness.org/


Neuroplasticity…your brain is never the same.

There is no one recipe for learning, this gets a bit challenging but every one of us who watches this video, sits in a class, reads a book, watches a movie, plays catch, whatever we do we take away different things from the experience.

How might we best help our students, and ourselves build the best version of our brains?