“Childhood and adolescence are critical windows of opportunity for setting down the essential emotional habits that will govern our lives.” – Daniel Goleman, Emotional Intelligence
The Choices program evolved from the Social Values work of Dr. Charles Shedd, clinical psychologist. Dr. Joyce Pickering added oral language development components. Choices addresses the overall development of character in the child and teaches social concepts and skills. The curriculum also helps develop the child’s recognition of his/her destiny and place in the world. The objective is to bolster each child’s sense of self-worth, his/her place in the world and path, and his competence in his/her interactions with others.
Choices is a multi-sensory program that is divided into six concept areas, each of which includes lessons that teach examples of that concept. The six broad areas are: Skills for Success, Responsibility, Self-Discipline, Self-Control, Considerations for Others and One’s Destiny. Each lesson includes an introduction of the concept, reading a story that relates to the concept, discussing the story, and role play/discussion of the play. The students also have an assignment for the week to follow up on that particular concept.
Our Choices program is taught to our Early Childhood students by Jamie Baker (Elementary Coordinator). Our Lower and Upper Elementary students are taught by Tammy Hector (Assistant Head of School).
What is Social Competence? Social competence is analogous to intelligence. It is a higher-order construct made up of many components, including positive relations with others, accurate and age appropriate social cognition, absence of maladaptive behavior, and effective social behaviors.
Skills for Success: Communication skills (hand motions, body language), decision making skills (stop, think, choose), and problem solving skills
Responsibility: At home and at school
Self Discipline: Courage, respect, integrity, perserverance, truth, and attitude
Self-Control: Prudence, communicating feelings, assertiveness (not agressiveness), handling stress
Consideration for Others: Compassion, tolerance, cooperation, manners
One’s Destiny: Destiny is determined by each choice made
Tammy Hector giving a Lower Elementary classroom a Choices lesson.