“More Success, Less Stress,” was the theme of Monday's back-to-school kickoff event for Peoria Public School faculty.
The annual all-staff assembly, held at Bradley University Renaissance Coliseum, included a panel discussion centered on social-emotional learning and wellness, for both students and teachers.
Panelist Tegan Camden, VP of behavioral health services at Children’s Home, says teachers are essentially therapists in the classroom. She urged those gathered in the arena to model behavior they want to see in their students.
“If I’m not calm, I cannot expect a student around me to be calm. I have to show them how to be calm, how to be self-regulated, how to be patient, how to be mindful," Camden said.
Superintendent Sharon Desmoulin-Kherat concluded the pep rally-like gathering by challenging teachers to motivate and inspire students in the new school year.
“I want to thank you for your passion, your commitment to preparing our kids, to defy the odds. You’ve done it. You can do it,” Desmoulin-Kherat said.
Kherat says the Peoria Public Schools will continue focusing on social-emotional learning in the 2017-2018 year with a variety of initiatives.
That includes the district’s participation in an Emory University research study on Cognitive-Based Compassion Training, or CBCT. It’s a method that trains the mind to be more present and more empathetic towards others.
Kherat says principals will discuss ways to bring CBCT into schools across the district during a principal meeting on Sept. 19.