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Capturing Kids’ Hearts: Capturing Kids’ Diseases?

Bethany+Diaz+and+Jake+Werner+sharing+diseases
Bethany Diaz and Jake Werner sharing diseases

Bethany Diaz and Jake Werner sharing diseases

Bethany Diaz and Jake Werner sharing diseases

Ryn Wayman, Social Media

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This situation seems to occur daily: a student sneezes then shakes the proffered hand of a teacher. Millions of germs are passed on to the thirty students in your class and the thirty other students in a teacher’s previous class. These daily handshakes, the sharing of good things, and social contracts are now a part of the classroom. To students at Air Academy, these changes have caused a whole lot of commotion. But what is the Capturing Kids’ Hearts program and what exactly does it mean for our school?

Capturing Kids’ Hearts is a program developed by the Flippen Group intended to establish a more collaborative classroom and enhance both teacher and student experience. For teachers like Ms. Morgan, this program can help teachers connect with timider first-year students. “Freshman see me as intimidating,” she said. “Anything to help kids realize that teachers are there to help.”

From the student side, however, this message doesn’t often translate; Brigeet Lilemon, a sophomore, finds that while “The good things are good, social contracts are really annoying.” Another student also sees a positive: “I think it’s great for teachers to form a bond with students,” Jenna Mourn, a senior, believes.

Diane Wilborn, leadership solutions adviser with the Flippen Group, worked directly with Air Academy staff to “Build relationships and processes that bring out the best in people.” But there has been some great student criticism of the program. The influx of student colds beginning in August may be possibly attributed to the daily handshakes with teachers. According to the CDC, handshakes can transfer almost 80% of infections.

But even with the criticism the program has faced from some students, the program’s focus on stronger connections could be an important step in addressing the increasing rate of teenage suicide and depression rates, particularly within District 20. Both the Colorado Gazette and Newsweek have reported El Paso County as the teen suicide capital of Colorado, a title many obviously don’t like.

This program was chosen especially for our school due to the fact that it is “research-based and very doable for teachers to use the program’s 4-5 straightforward strategies,” Dr. Wahlstrom, assistant principal believes.

The recurring theme of this program is increasing connection, whether student to teacher or student to student and the major takeaway teachers want to see from students are the following ideas: “We care about kids and ways to connect with kids,” and “Education is a two-way street. You have to interact with teachers to get the most out of education and life.”

 

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Capturing Kids’ Hearts: Capturing Kids’ Diseases?