In this episode, Sara speaks with Dave Adams, the Senior Director of Strategy and Director of Social Emotional Learning at Urban Assembly to discuss encountering resistance and leaning into the creative arts & SEL.
About David Adams
David Adams is the Director of Social-Emotional Learning at The Urban Assembly. He previously served as the Social-Emotional Learning Coordinator for District 75 in New York City, where he shaped the District’s approach to social and emotional development for students with severe cognitive and behavioral challenges. He has worked internationally in schools in England, standing up and evaluating programs of positive behavioral supports and social-emotional learning as a research intern at Yale University’s Health, Emotion and Behavior Lab, and published multiple academic papers around the relationship of social-emotional competence, and student academic and behavioral outcomes. David served on the Council of Distinguished Educators of the Aspen Institute’s National Commission of Social, Emotional and Academic Development (NCSEAD), and is married with two children. He is an Engineering Officer in the Army Reserve and holds M.Ed in Educational Psychology from Fordham University.
“The arts are the experience of what it means to be human. The arts are a universally human experience.” -Dave Adams
About Urban Assembly
The Urban Assembly was founded in 1990 to address a wide range of poverty issues in the US and the developing world. In the mid-’90s the organization spearheaded a major planning effort to transform a devastated 300-block area of the South Bronx. That effort identified the lack of high-quality local secondary schools as a major concern and recommended creating model high schools, each tied to a major local institution. In 1997, in partnership with the New York City Department of Education and New Visions for Public Schools, The Urban Assembly opened the first of these schools, The Bronx School for Law, Government and Justice. Since that first school, The Urban Assembly has opened over 20 schools, scaled up promising programs and partnered with hundreds of public, private and non-profit sector partners to increase educational opportunities and close the opportunity gap for thousands of low-income youth in New York City.
In the 2019-20 school year, the Urban Assembly is serving over 10,000 students through 23 small, public middle and high schools, including eight Career & Technical Education (CTE) schools and two all-girls schools.
“The most important thing we need to delineate between is what we want our students to learn and how we want our students to learn the things. The way that students learn in our schools is going to be how they go out and learn in the real world.” – Dave Adams
Creative Exercise: The Embodied Shake Off
In this episode, we practice the Embodied Shake Off. The Shake Off is an opportunity for us to shake off the stress and tension that we are carrying. Start by shaking off with the left hand 4-3-2-1, then go to the right hand, then squeeze the whole body and relax the whole body. Then repeat with 3-2-1, then repeat with 2-1, and finally 1. Finish with a deep breath in and exhale away all the distractions and stress.
- Resilient Scholars Program at Urban Assembly
- The Educators Practical Guide to Emotional Intelligence by Dave Adams, David Caruso, and Lisa Rees
- Social Emotional Planning Considerations for Returning to School
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