In conjunction with the district’s initiative on strengthening social and emotional learning (SEL), Immokalee High School’s (IHS) new SEL committee has organized and will facilitate Golden Ticket …
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Students First for October 25
Jennifer L. Kupiec
In conjunction with the district’s initiative on strengthening social and emotional learning (SEL), Immokalee High School’s (IHS) new SEL committee has organized and will facilitate Golden Ticket Student Assemblies throughout the 2018-2019 school year. Each IHS Golden Ticket Assembly will be unique in its content and presentation style.
So how did this SEL committee come about? It started with teachers Wendy Gallegos and Staci Fisher. Last school year, they began to feel an overwhelming passion for what their students were experiencing. The two spoke about tragedies their students had experienced throughout the last few years. They recognized the support IHS and the district provided to its students but felt they needed to become more proactive in teaching coping strategies and how to manage everyday stress. Together, they created a blueprint for a series of student assemblies. Unbeknownst to them, the IHS administrative team along with every CCPS administrator had just attended a multiday workshop on addressing and strengthening students’ social and emotional learning as well.
With the support of IHS administration, an IHS SEL committee consisting of teachers, guidance counselors, and an IHS administrator was formed.
And this Tuesday, October 23, their first Golden Ticket Assembly on the topic of Pressures was held. “We brainstormed a list of concerns we see our students deal with every day,” shared teacher Wendy Gallegos. “We believe many of our students may be experiencing academic pressures, social and relationship pressures, as well as the pressure of just being young adults. We wanted to teach our students that the pressures they may be experiencing are normal and that they will get through them; but most importantly, our goal is that our students will learn ways to address and deal with those pressures.”
Guest panelists included Rodelin Anthony (IHS alumnus, current faculty member, and head football coach), Dr. Natalia Falcon Banchs (Florida State University College of Medicine, Clinical Health/Primary Care Psychology), and Taylor Manssure (Firefighter, Immokalee Fire Department).
Gallegos continued, “We believe it is essential for our students here at Immokalee High School to know that we genuinely care and are concerned about their total wellbeing. Our goal is that our students will know that we have a vested interest in them becoming adults that own the skills to understand and manage their emotions, feel and show empathy for others, know how to establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.”