💙 Read about the SEL Peace and Gratitude Box Project! 💙

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Siddhartha Remains a Leader in
Emphasizing Social and Emotional Learning

Since 2016, the Siddhartha School Partnership has sponsored the teaching and implementation of social and emotional learning (SEL) in every classroom, leading the way for other schools in the area. The program gives teachers and students compassion-based learning activities, support for conflict resolution, restorative circles, and secular ethics awareness. Learn more about SEL fundamentals HERE.

Photo: Senior staff Ms. Tenzin Palmo and Mr. Norlha welcome Danielle Marquis and Nathalie Bissonnette at the morning assembly.

The school continued that enrichment by sponsoring a four-day SEL tutorial for students and teachers. The learning sessions were led by Danielle Marquis and documented by filmmaker Nathalie Bissonnette. Danielle is an expert in developing and implementing SEL curriculum in the classroom. The two traveled from Quebec, Canada. Sadly, unforeseen travel complications prevented lead educator Sophie Langri from attending in person, and so she worked remotely with the team.

Photo: Danielle and the Siddhartha teachers talk about the SEL curriculum and discuss their experience using the principles in real time for the last six years.

Danielle spent time with teachers discussing the challenges that students face in and outside of the classroom. They concentrated on how to apply the tools and principles of SEL. 

Photo: The SEL training included making Peace and Gratitude Boxes for the students. They give students a chance to anonymously express what issues they saw, both helpful and challenging, on campus.

One such tool is the Peace and Gratitude Box. Teachers encourage students to express their concerns and positive feedback by writing them on a piece of paper and discreetly placing it in the Peace and Gratitude Box. The boxes are locked, and all contributions are meant to be anonymous. The teacher-led SEL Committee then reviews contributions to the Peace and Gratitude Box to devise strategies to deal with the issues they discover. 

It is here that teachers first learn of many of the challenges that students face from the perspective of the student. The issues uncovered at Siddhartha School are similar to challenges faced by students around the world–bullying, tobacco use, excessive use of cell phones, and so on. This student-initiated approach to problem behavior is completely unique among the schools in Ladakh and is just one element of the SEL curriculum.

There are plans for continued curriculum refinement with hopes of leading the way for other schools in the region. 

Siddhartha School Partnership offers a resounding thank-you to Jeanne Cosby for underwriting this important work. Jeanne is a lifelong educator and long-standing donor who has provided support for our SEL initiatives from the beginning. 


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