By Christine Mason

2019. 19 years into the 21st Century. During the past few weeks I have learned bulletpoint journaling. Have you tried it? If I am not careful I will forgo my tasks at hand and spend hours designing artistically beautiful journals so that my to do lists and notes are beautifully organized. It is fascinating that in this electronic era, people are returning to handwritten notes and logs.

Last summer, I bowled with a grandson and learned that I could actually drop a 16 pound ball onto the alley and that if I didn’t hesitate, the ball would proceed with more force and be more likely to go in a straight line. This year I took a wonderful online course on Positive Neuroplasticity and  Resiliency (with Rick Hanson) and learned that when we actually savor the moment we are helping the positive experiences to permeate deeper into our brains.

What does 2019 hold in store?  For me, for you, for the world?  I learned from my daughter that some schools are holding ALICE drills. ALICE( Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate) shooter response drills for schools. The Founder, Greg Crance says,  “I made it my life’s work to dismiss LOCKDOWN as a sole response plan, and instead provide folks with knowledge and skills that they can use to make good decisions during a terrible moment.”  As stated  on the ALICE website: “Active shooter situations are unpredictable and evolve quickly. Because active shooter situations are often over within 10 to 15 minutes, before law enforcement arrives on the scene, individuals must be prepared both mentally and physically to deal with an active shooter situation. In most cases, active shooters use firearms(s) and there is no pattern or method to their selection of victims.” So with ALICE, we are trained to make decisions in the moment about how to respond.

We are concerned about lockdown drills and the trauma that the drills, as important as they are, are inflicting on children. So schools respond to gun violence with drills that remind us that schools are targeted and that we cannot assume that our schools will be safe and secure. On the other hand, we are excited about the current emphasis on Social Emotional Learning (SEL) and measuring SEL. We hate the current state of world affairs, but we are glad that civics and history are regaining status in American schools. We  deplore that violence at the borders and on our streets, and we want more equity and justice and compassion.

So 2019 is here. What from 2018 are you pulling into 2019?  What is on your calendar? What do you look forward to learning in 2019?


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