Feb 16, 2018

On Thursday Feb 15, 2018, I got an opportunity to speak in front of a number of school principals and assistant principals at a conference in California. I spoke on the topic of “Strong social/emotional health is key to overall success” at the ACSA (Association of California School Administrators) “Every Child Counts” Symposium in Anaheim, CA.

My presentation focused on the fact that, for all children, a strong emotional health and a positive self-image are key ingredients for overall success in life. If on a regular basis a child is concerned about having to deal with negative issues/events/incidents, it is simply not possible for the child to focus on the positive aspects of school and social life. For academic success of all students it is critical to maintain a safe and nurturing environment for all children. When we talk about a safe environment for children we must include discussions about creating and maintaining an atmosphere in schools where ALL children can feel free to be themselves and learn most effectively at their own pace. If a child has to face negative environment on a regular basis, it can lead to long lasting negative impact far beyond the school years. This presentation is highly appropriate for the “Every Child Counts” symposium because it is focused on developing and maintaining a school culture that has three key objectives – acceptance of differences in people around you, being kind and respectful to others as opposed to negative behavior such as bullying, and focusing on self-acceptance so you can achieve success in life.

My presentation was based on my book titled “A Life Interrupted – the story of my battle with bullying and obsessive compulsive disorder” and had the following learning objectives:

  • Participants will learn what some of the key elements are for a safe and positive school culture where all differences are respected.
  • Participants will also learn that bullying can play a key role not only in triggering a severe mental health disorder, but also in how the disorder plays itself out for the victim and tortures him/her for years.
  • Participants will learn why bullies do what they do, and what needs to happen to minimize the negative impact.

© 2017 - Sumi Mukherjee
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