9 Ways to express care

As adults who work with young people, we understand the importance of showing kids that we care about them. As Teddy Roosevelt reportedly said, “Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care.” That’s why Express Care leads the list of our Developmental Relationships Framework.   A developmental relationship is a research-based […]

youth activism

Many young people are passionate about changing the world we live in. When adults support young people as they organize to create social change, they are sharing power, one of the five elements of a developmental relationship. Whether it’s an organized protest or simply stepping forward to speak about something they believe in, activism can help […]

march for our lives

On Saturday, March 24, thousands of young people will gather in Washington, DC, and other cities across the country and around the world for the March for Our Lives demonstration to end gun violence in our communities and schools. Many educators and youth development leaders are thrilled that young people are “finding their voice” on a […]

Almost a century ago, the Lebanese American poet Kahlil Gibran wrote: Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself. They come through you but not from you, And though they are with you yet they belong not to you. (The Prophet, 1923) Gibran’s words capture perhaps […]

At many schools across the United States, it’s parent-teacher conference time. Although being able to collaborate with parents is important, conference night can sometimes leave both parties feeling like they were unable to have a productive meeting due to the rushed nature and limited timeframe of the event. Search Institute’s work with families has given […]

A few weeks ago, I led a workshop on family engagement for prevention specialists. I asked them what makes engaging families challenging. Here are some typical responses: Families are busy. The cycles of dysfunction in so many families. Every family is different. It’s hard to access families. Families don’t want help. Finding transportation to participate […]

1. Instead of messaging to families, start with listening to families In too many cases, efforts to engage families begin with policy makers, researchers, and professionals determining what families need to do, and then developing messages that will generate “buy-in,” support, and participation. But whenever we authentically take time to listen to and build an […]

“Restless, unfocused and unmotivated” are the words Tiffany Abrams, a Special Education teacher at Pine River-Backus Schools used to describe her 7th-grade class at the beginning of the 2016 school year. According to Abrams, they had a difficult time being independent learners. Pine River is a town in northern Minnesota with a small population–only 944–but […]

  We know, from years of research, that gaining insight into middle and high school students’ social-emotional skills is essential for motivating them to become self-propelled young adults. So we have broken these social-emotional skills into five simple areas: 1. Relationships: The single most powerful thing that educators can do to increase motivation is to build close connections […]

  Student motivation is a huge challenge. We know from our research that 69% of teachers say that student motivation is an issue in their classroom. We also know that intrinsic motivation declines continuously from kindergarten through high school. Motivation decreases in the jump from elementary to middle school and from middle to high school. […]