This past Tuesday (2/18), I attended the Eggs & Issues Breakfast hosted by the Public School Forum of North Carolina, which featured the release of their top education issues of 2020 and a panel of education-adjacent leaders speaking to those issues. Contrary to previous years, in which 10 distinct issues were chosen, this year featured one central, overarching topic with five key priorities:

Top Education Issue: Take immediate and intentional actions to meet our constitutional obligation to provide each child a sound basic education.

Key Priorities:

  1. Redesign our school finance system to dramatically improve adequacy, equity, and flexibility.
  2. Overhaul educator compensation, recruitment, and professional development strategies.
  3. Revamp our school accountability model: Eliminate or revise the A-F school grading system.
  4. Support a major state investment to fully fund North Carolina’s $8+ billion school infrastructure needs.
  5. Establish a plan to monitor progress toward Leandro compliance.

Reading through and thinking about these priorities, they all seemed imperative to public school success, but only one felt immediate and accessible to me—eliminating or revising the A-F school grading system. Though I can certainly impact the other higher-level priorities in indirect ways, as a former teacher, current tutor, and dedicated educator, my focus is typically at the school-level. The key priority mentioned here is in reference to school grades, as in, the evaluation of individual public schools based on a variety of factors, including standardized tests. While fascinating and important, it made me consider if letter grades in any venue, like those given to students, are effective in their purpose?

After the event, I reflected on what grades meant to me growing up in a public school system, what grades mean to our NC public school students, and what they mean to our teachers. What do we want grades to signify for students, and in what ways might the A-F grading system be hitting or missing that mark?

Before working at the WELL, I spent the prior four years working for the NYC Department of Education, monitoring processes and communicating information about the teacher evaluation system. The controversies of teacher evaluation aside, I appreciated the evaluation system’s stress on student growth over student achievement. I spent many afternoons sending emails to school administrators explaining the difference in layman’s terms—growth being the difference in performance at several points over a period of time, and achievement being based on performance at a single point in time, like a test score. However, this led me to wonder, if we value growth in the realm of teacher evaluation, why aren’t we measuring growth more closely in student evaluation?

By its nature, the A-F grading system measures average achievement—how well did you do at different points in the quarter, semester, or school year. It fails to recognize the gains that students make from point to point, assignment to assignment, and test to test. One who receives several poor grades at the beginning of a course may have very little chance to redeem oneself, and for some students, that can be the catalyst for discouragement and disengagement. For slower learners, this system can set unfair expectations and cause self-esteem issues. For higher achievers, letter grades can serve as a distraction to learning and a source of anxiety. Disengaged with the critical thought teachers hope to facilitate in students, high achievers sometimes focus too intensely on finding how to get those high letter grades, and less on the meaningful, purposeful learning experiences teachers mean to impart.

Moreover, if we consider what we want education to accomplish, the central focus should be to send our youth out into the world equipped to be successful, productive, caring adults. In many ways, values like resilience, empathy, responsibility, and citizenship, are neglected by As and Fs. While some make the case that teachers are already indirectly including those values and growth considerations in the A-F grades they give out, this is almost certainly not the case across the board. Even where that is the case, the indirectness of those measures may not actually be reaching the student.

Unfortunately, I feel a small amount of guilt for writing this, because as my father often quipped, lamenting a problem before you have a solution serves no one. In this case, I don’t have a concrete solution, and perhaps the A-F grading system would work fine with a couple small tweaks. After all, the gargantuan effort of changing a whole evaluative system from middle school to college would be a vast and confusing undertaking, but I don’t like avoiding problems because they are difficult to fix. Some school systems have tried other systems, like standards-based grading, in which a student receives a status in each individual standard, like “ability to compare two stories,” but none that I’ve seen really get to the heart of the issues brought up above. Though I have no applicable solution, bringing this problem up will help more of us think through the issue, and at the very least, be critical of the systems we have in place to ensure they are working. In our ever-changing world, every aspect of public education needs to be malleable, inventive, and open to improvement.

 

We are all constantly talking to ourselves.  This conversation doesn’t happen out loud, but in our heads, in the form of our thoughts.

“Oh, I need to get some milk from the store.”

“I would like to see a movie this weekend.”

“Oh, those pants look terrible.” 

“Where did I put my keys?!”

It’s a near constant conversation we’re having, and one that’s often very useful.  After all, we do have to find our keys, pick up milk at the store, and avoid wearing terrible pants.  But do you ever find that this inner conversation can become negative, mean, or downright cruel?

“I’m worthless.”

“I can’t do anything right.”

“No one will ever like me.”

I imagine that these sorts of thoughts are familiar to many of us.  These are things we would never dream of saying to a friend, family member, or even a stranger on the street.  If someone else said them to us, we would rightly call them a jerk, and tell them to get lost.  And yet, there is a member of our internal conversations that tells us just these sorts of things, an Inner Critic.  And when this Inner Critic speaks, we tend to listen to it and believe the negative, judgmental and distorted things it has to say, leading us to feelings of frustration, anxiety, self-loathing and helplessness.

The thing is, the Inner Critic is wrong.  The stories it tells have only a dim relation to reality, selecting attending to the negative over the positive in our lives, overemphasizing this negative and making out this negative to be absolute and unchanging.  The Inner Critic gets in our way, telling us we can’t accomplish what we wish to accomplish, that we can’t enjoy the relationships we wish to enjoy, and that we are not worthy of happiness.

We often can’t control the thoughts that pop into our head, and we can’t simply decide to make the Inner Critic stop talking.  But, through patient and persistent practice, we can learn to be more aware of the Inner Critic and not fall into the trap of believing it when it belittles and shames us.  Here are some strategies you can try out:

  • Notice when the inner critic is speaking. Next time you find yourself having thoughts such as “I am a total failure” or “There’s no way I can accomplish this goal”, label these as the voice of the Inner Critic.  A good rule of thumb is to ask yourself: “Would I say this to a good friend?”.  If not, then it is not something worth saying to yourself.
  • Notice how you feel when the Inner Critic is speaking to you. How does this critical voice affect your body?  For many, listening to the Inner Critic leads to feelings of sadness, anxiety, helplessness and a lack of motivation.
  • Notice what the Inner Critic is like. Does it have a voice of its own?  For some, their Inner Critic may have the voice of a judgmental parent, or a harsh teacher.  The better you understand your Inner Critic, the easier it will be to recognize it.
  • Challenge the Inner Critic. The Inner Critic is overly negative and absolute in its judgement.  If you fail a test, the Inner Critic does not say “You probably didn’t study enough for that, but in the future you can prepare more and do better.”  Instead, it says “You are terrible at this subject and can never do well.”  The Inner Critic is always wrong.  If you ask it what evidence it has to support its claims, it will always come up empty handed.
  • Externalize what the Inner Critic has to say. This means not just keeping your negative thoughts in your head, but writing them down in a journal, or speaking them out loud to a trusted friend, family member or counselor.  Often we believe our overly negative thoughts when they are just thoughts, but when we bring the Inner Critic’s words into the spoken or written word we can better recognize how extreme and distorted they are.
  • Practice self-compassion. It can be hard sometimes for us to be kind to ourselves, but this self-directed kindness can serve as a powerful antidote to the Inner Critic’s toxicity.  Practice self-care, such as taking time to do the things you enjoy and be with the people you enjoy being with.  Practice being a friend to yourself, through your actions and thoughts.  One way to do this is by practicing Metta, or loving kindness meditation.

For many of us, listening to the Inner Critic has been a long-time habit, and so incorporating the tips above will take time, patience and most importantly, a spirit of kindness towards ourselves.  Continuing to get caught up in the stories the Inner Critic tells doesn’t mean you can’t keep working on noticing and challenging them, and don’t let the Inner Critic tell you otherwise!

“Lighten up on yourself.  No one is perfect.  Gently accept your humanness.” – Deborah Day

In recent years, much attention has been paid to increasing STEM learning in our schools and communities. In large part, this was a direct response to studies showing that the United States has been lagging behind in science and mathematics in comparison to other countries. In 2015, The Program for International Student Assessment, a worldwide study done to measure the performance of students on mathematics, science, and reading, published results that showed 23 different countries scoring higher than the US on science, and 37 countries scoring higher on math. Clearly, the attention and subsequent push for better STEM education was warranted. However, as a literacy and humanities educator, I’ve feared that the pivot towards math and science would underemphasize the dire importance of literacy and reading. The reality is, as much as our country’s continued technological and economic success depends on math and science ability, the consequences of reading struggles creep insidiously into every area of life and learning. Both science and math, as well as every other learning opportunity, depends on literacy for critical thought and understanding.

Unfortunately, many students just don’t like reading. This may be due to insecurities about one’s reading ability, fear of failure, inability to focus, or a perception that reading isn’t fun. I recall the 13-year-old version of myself responding to my parent’s demands that I read with, “I’d rather watch movies. What’s the difference?” I’m sure I don’t have to explain the obvious differences here, but what if we could’ve met that 13-year-old version of me somewhere in the middle?

Audiobooks. Before you recoil in horror, wondering how skirting the act of actually reading could possibly benefit a student’s reading ability, consider the many benefits that audiobooks offer. Assistant Professor of Reading Education at the College of William & Mary, Denise Johnson, cites audiobooks as being able to: introduce students to books above their reading level, model good interpretive reading, teach critical listening, highlight the humor in books, introduce genres students wouldn’t otherwise consider, introduce students to new vocabulary, sidestep unfamiliar dialects and literary styles, and more. As you might imagine, audiobooks can be the evidence students need to see that books really can be fun, interesting, engaging, and special. They can bridge the gap from a love of narrative in movies and video games to the more full narrative worlds of literature.

In short, audiobooks counteract all of the excuses young people have for avoiding reading, and even sidestep the issue of reading stamina, which is a real concern in the age of social media. Put them on in the car, during dinner, or before bed—anytime is a good time for an audiobook.

Disclaimer: We realize that not all families have the privilege of internet access. If that is the case, we encourage those students to join and visit the WELL, where we have a full computer lab open to students every day of the week. We can even show you some of our favorite edutainment YouTube channels!

The internet can be a weird place, and in many ways, popular video sharing website YouTube is an accurate reflection of that eccentricity. As of May 2019, 500 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute, and that number has likely climbed since then. YouTube is home to video bloggers of varying talent levels, viral cat videos, music videos of every genre imaginable, and plenty of other 21st century internet flimflam. Nonetheless, in one corner of its massive video catalogue lies a resource that every student should be utilizing: edutainment.

For students of all ages struggling with the limitations of the school day and needing more than 1-on-1 tutoring is able to provide, YouTube can be a saving grace. Most will acknowledge that people absorb information differently, meaning that a teaching approach working for one student may not work so well for another. Explanations of difficult subjects, especially in high school, must come from different angles, using varied examples and analogies, for an entire classroom to grasp the content. The reality is that classrooms are usually run by a single teacher, and single teachers typically only have time to explain things a few different ways. Tutors, like those at the WELL, can be wonderful supplements to those classroom efforts, offering different perspectives on those hard-to-grasp topics. Yet, a tutor is also limited by time, and it’s altogether possible that a student will continue to struggle even after seeking help. This is where the heroics of YouTube edutainment enter the story.

For some of our most frequently requested tutoring subjects, like Chemistry, there exist carefully crafted videos with comment sections featuring exclamations like, “I was ready to quit AP chemistry two weeks in until I found you! Thank you!” That comment is from a video explaining atomic mass, posted on a channel called Science with Tyler DeWitt, which features videos on everything from ionic bonds to calculating density. Another fantastic example is the channel Professor Dave Explains, in which a very personable, somewhat silly professor takes frustrating science topics like mitosis, and makes them digestible for high school students. Likewise, the channel Crash Course produces explanatory and enjoyable videos in all of the major subjects, including US History, English Literature, and Math.  There are innumerable examples of other channels just like ones above, free and ready to be utilized by students. Importantly, these videos are not the boring, outdated VHS/DVDs that teachers used to put on when classroom exhaustion set in—they are well produced, clearly orated, and dare I say, sometimes fun.

If an integral part of learning is finding the explanation that makes sense to you, then YouTube’s endless number of explanations for any given subject should be an integral part of every student’s 21st century learning. In my view, making YouTube a regular part of completing homework and studying classroom materials will fill in the natural gaps left by classroom learning—as long as they don’t get distracted by all those cat videos.

As many students come to find out, simply paying attention and doing the classwork will not always produce successful results in particularly difficult high school subjects. Even for those students who excel using that basic framework in high school, the breadth and difficulty of college-level content often presents them with a rude awakening. Students at all levels can benefit from a simple practice with an intimidating name: metacognitive questioning.

Put simply, the approach asks us to think more deeply about the way we think. It encourages us to be more aware and present, enabling students to make more informed decisions about what they study, what parts of homework they focus on most, what information to take notes on, and what to try next time after failure. Metacognition is important in all aspects of our lives, but can be especially useful for students unsure of how to improve their learning experience.  Best of all, here is a way to pitch the approach to your student during your next family dinner—it will reduce frustration and they get to do less work.

Metacognitive thinking aims to make academic efforts more efficient, so that students are not wasting time studying unnecessary information and losing comprehension of content as they attempt to take notes on their teacher’s every word.  We can break down this approach into three categories of questioning: before class, during class, and after class (class can be substituted for quiz or test).

Before Class

  • Look at your course syllabus and always know what’s coming up next! Consider what you might already know about the upcoming topics from prior class sessions and take some quick notes.
  • If you have internet access, then unlimited academic resources are at your fingertips. Take a couple minutes and look up the next topic in your course online for a quick summary. Depending on the course, you may try a couple practice problems or read a bit of content. If you don’t have access to the internet, join the WELL and utilize our computer lab!
  • Write down any questions that arose during your quick self-introduction to topics. You won’t waste time thinking of them and writing them down in class.
  • Before entering, consider how the classroom environment affects you. This isn’t just a suggestion to sit in the front or to stay away from someone you’ll be tempted to talk to, but also to build an awareness about external distractions. Is there an AC blowing right next to you impacting your hearing? Is your chair wobbly? Does the student in front of you constantly tap his or her foot? These small distractions add up, and while many classrooms have assigned seating, your teacher wants you to be in the best position to succeed. Ask him or her about moving if you are distracted.
  • During homework, consider why you are succeeding on an assignment and why not—what specific stuff was confusing to you? Again, the internet is your friend here!
  • Before a quiz or test, ask yourself:
    • What studying strategy works for me in this context? Study groups? Flashcards? Practice problems? Tutoring? Different approaches work for different subjects, so be critical about what you choose.
    • How long should I study? Consider your habits and attention span. Studying for longer than you can handle will be detrimental rather than helpful. Take breaks!
    • If you are someone who can only study in short spans, make sure you’ve started early enough that you can fit in multiple sessions.
    • Most importantly, what should I study? Consider what your teacher spent the most class time covering, what was included on prior quizzes/tests, and what you’ve personally had trouble understanding. Any other information should only be included in a quick review.

During Class

  • Don’t just take mindless notes. Being able to actively listen will free your mind to engage in reflection and enable awareness.
  • Consider what “aha” moments you have in class—what caused you to have them? What seems confusing and why do you think it’s confusing? Over time, this reflection will equip you to predict what will be confusing in future classes.
  • If you’ve done the above questioning before class, smart note taking will be a lot easier here—be critical about what information is important.
  • During quizzes or tests:
    • Try to remember what questions or concepts were most challenging. This applies to question formats as much as it does content. Remembering what gave you trouble will be integral to studying later.
  • Again, the absolute most important thing during class is to stay aware and present. Anything that takes your mind away from the lesson, even if it is note taking, will ultimately hurt your learning. Still take notes, but be intentional and smart about it!

After class

  • Before homework, take a second to reflect on your class today. How did today’s lesson connect to previous lessons? Staying aware of how information builds during a course will increase your ability to grasp difficult concepts when they come up.
  • What do you need to do to get confusing information clarified? Though it’s highly encouraged, the reality is that asking frequent questions during class isn’t realistic for every type of person. Consider how to reach your teacher outside of class or utilize a tutor if that is the case.
  • What did you find interesting about today’s class?
  • What resources or approaches did you use to clarify information? Write them down! The same approach will likely help you again.
  • If a friend was joining the class tomorrow, what advice would you give them to succeed? Does the teacher spend the first 20 minutes of every class introducing a topic with information that never appears on quizzes and tests? Are the assignments almost entirely word problems? Does the teacher offer time outside of class to review content?
  • After quizzes or tests:
    • What worked and what didn’t in your preparation?
    • Did you primarily study what showed up on the test?
    • What questions did I answer right and which confused me?
    • If you studied all the correct content, but still felt confused, how can you study differently next time to change the outcome?

Full disclosure, at first, this may be more work than your student is used to doing, but eventually, engaging in metacognitive reflection can vastly reduce the amount of unnecessary work students engage in. Naturally, it will also increase their chances at succeeding, especially in courses that make them feel lost. Help your student build these habits now, as they will be a prerequisite to success with more difficult, college-level materials.

Citation: https://www.lifescied.org/doi/full/10.1187/cbe.12-03-0033

 

 

A major part of deciding which college is the best fit is determining what you want to do. Many high school students that participate in LEAP go into the college choice process knowing jobs they think they’d like, but not how the jobs translate into majors and/or minors. Students have multiple possible interests, at times making it harder to narrow down a major. For students to make the best decision, it is suggested that they complete various career assessments. Within our programs, we use several to give students an overall view of where their interests lie and help with deciding a major.

Below you will find a few of the assessments we use with students:

1. College Foundation (www.cfnc.org) College Foundation has several helpful links for various needs. One of which is the career tab. Students find tools to develop resumes and cover letters.There are two links that are specific to the student learning about their interests and possibly associating that with certain career types. There is a section entitled Learn about Yourself. In this section, there are six career assessments that allow students to answer 10-15 minute surveys that will highlight career clusters of interests, work skill sets, and more. After completing those assessments, students can click on the career clusters and review descriptions of various careers.

2. Education Planner (www.educationplanner.org) This site has a similar career interest inventory. Students can answer 30 questions about what they like and dislike. From those answers, students can see a list of careers that match their answers.

3. Campbell Interest and Skill Survey This survey is conducted by the Counselor Education department at NC State University and not accessible online. Students answer 300 questions in this survey that has 2 parts. Part 1 focuses on interests where they rank them from strongly dislike to strongly like. Part 2 focuses on skills where students can estimate their level of skill from none to expert. From these answers, students get an assessment where careers are organized in the following sections: pursue, develop, explore, and avoid. This is a great tool because it brings out careers students might not have considered.

We like to emphasize to students the importance of doing research before selecting a major that sounds good. The tools above help students narrow down their selections by their interests. From their interests, students work with staff and NCSU LEAP mentors to determine majors that would match with their top career choices.

In preparation for senior year, it is important for juniors to begin creating their list of possibilities. A list of possibilities can include college options, military consideration, and/or trade choices.  In LEAP Jr., students are challenged with creating a dream list of plans after high school.  Many students who select college as an option are given multiple methods to research their choices. College Foundation (www.cfnc.org) has several resources to help in the research phase. There are links to all public and private colleges and universities in North Carolina where students can compare campus size, city location, gender ratios, and financial questions.  Juniors work with WELL staff and NCSU mentors on completing these college comparisons. This allows students to have a snap shot of their choices and how they match up beside each other. In LEAP Jr., staff use the college comparison worksheet to guide conversations when reviewing mid-year transcripts and when discussing university requirements. When considering a trade or military, it is important students are aware of what interests them. During LEAP Jr., students complete a CISS (Campbell Interest and Skill Survey). The survey has students rank statements between strongly like and strongly dislike.  The results from this questionnaire are broken down into careers and jobs students should avoid, develop, explore, or pursue.  Taking all these resources into consideration, we hope to create a concrete foundation for students in their post-secondary planning process.

When students enter high school, and attend their new student orientations, they are continuously told that if you are thinking about college, preparation begins today! As much as that message is told, many students tend to ignore the warnings and wait to begin considering their plans after high school. Over the years, it has been apparent that many students do not start preparing their plans for life after high school until their Senior year. Senior year is filled with so many deadlines and tasks, that students tend to feel overwhelmed and stressed when it comes to the college planning process. To make an attempt to decrease anxiety and educate about various post-secondary options, the WELL is beginning a program entitled LEAP, Jr. In LEAP Jr, students will be able to attend college fairs, workshops from the College Foundation and Triangle Community Foundation, and have hands on experiences with current college students and develop a plan that will be the foundation of their decision processes as they progress into their senior year. Staff will go over their unofficial transcripts and show them where they are regarding their collegiate options and meeting requirements for admission. Our hope is that students will gain the necessary tools and knowledge and are able to move forward comfortably and lacking stress. If interested in joining LEAP Jr., complete the following form https://goo.gl/forms/0uu1Yr4iWJNjBzTD3. The first meeting is scheduled for February 11th at 3:15pm!

In our society, there is an unhealthy amount of fear and oppression towards people whose bodies are larger. Cue: “The War on Obesity.” In reality, weight is not a reliable indicator for our physical health. In fact, the stigma and bias against people with larger bodies causes more damage to physical and mental health than being physically larger in size. Bodies naturally come in a variety of shapes and sizes. A health at every size approach recognizes it is better for physical and mental health to focus on building healthy behaviors instead of pursuing weight loss.

 

Your teen’s body is not a problem to be solved. If you are concerned about your teen’s health, you can address physical activity, nutrition, sleep, and stress management without suggesting that they lose weight.

 

Here are some tips:

 

  1. Avoid making comments about your teen’s weight and encouraging weight loss. Research suggests that this can attribute to body shame and dissatisfaction. Instead, focus on increasing movement, getting enough sleep, and filling plates with a wide variety of foods – because these are good for overall health and wellness and not for the sake of weight loss. Your teen’s body will find its natural weight.
  2. Don’t put your teen on a diet. Parents sometimes try to restrict children from eating too much but this can do more harm than good. Ellyn Satter is a child feeding expert who suggests that, as the caregiver, “you are responsible for what, and when, and where your child is fed. Your child is always responsible for how much and whether to eat the foods you offer.” This helps them learn to trust their own hunger and fullness cues and build eating competence over time.
  3. Use a team approach by making any lifestyle changes about being healthy as a whole family. Instead of suggesting your teen to eat more vegetables, try to eat more vegetables as a family. Instead of asking your teen to be more active, try taking family walks or bikes rides. This approach will prevent attacking your teen’s self-esteem, while still encouraging a healthy lifestyle. This is also a great way to spend quality family time together!
  4. Highlight all the other amazing qualities and skills of your teen. On a nearly constant basis, we all receive messages from society that our bodies are not “good enough.” Combat this negativity by highlighting the amazing qualities and skills your teen possesses.  Compliment your teen about their kindness, humor, talent in scrapbooking, or hard work in math. This encourages broader self-worth that isn’t connected to their appearance.  When family and friends make negative comments about someone’s appearance or weight, be courageous and speak up.
  5. Lead by example. Teens learn so much from what they see their parents doing. This is why it is so important to be kind to ourselves. What would it mean to unlearn the negative messages you have received about your own body? How would your life improve if you learned to gently let go of body shame and regained a sense of body trust? If this seems like an area of improvement, you might even seek out personal development or counseling services.

 

 

These five tips are intended to take the focus off of weight and onto overall health and wellness. The goal is to begin shifting the focus now so that your teen can build a healthy relationship with their body as they grow into confident adults.

 

Our vision at CCERC is to offer world-class, multiculturally-oriented and social justice based counseling. We recognize the harm of weight bias and stigma against people who are larger and are working to advocate for health at every size. We hope to be a resource for people to discuss and break down oppression and come to peace with their bodies.

 

Disclaimer: If a lot of this information is new to you or contrary to things you’ve said or done in the past, it is okay and in no way means you are a bad parent. Weight loss comments are usually intended to help or motivate others, so it’s nothing to beat yourself up about. However, with this knowledge, now is the perfect opportunity to do better.

 

Other resources:

Building eating competence: https://www.ellynsatterinstitute.org/how-to-feed

More about body trust: https://benourished.org

Resources on body respect and health at every size: https://lindabacon.org

“A love ethic presupposes that everyone has the right to be free, to live fully and well.” — Bell Hooks, All About Love

 

Can you think of a time, recently or in the past, when you felt deeply cared for and respected? How did that make you feel then? How does it feel to reflect on this now?

 

At CCERC (Community Counseling, Education, and Research Center), our work is guided by an idea called the love ethic. We recognize that there is a great deal of discrimination, violence, and oppression that exists in our world. These harms impact us individually, on a community level, and as a wider society. We also believe that healing is possible. And through this healing, we hold hope that achieving justice is possible—even at times when it may seem far away. Choosing to live by a love ethic is one path that brings us closer to healing and closer to justice.

 

So what do we mean by “love ethic”? The idea comes from the writer and scholar bell hooks. In her book All About Love, bell hooks writes that love is a combination of six ingredients: care, commitment, knowledge, responsibility, respect, and trust. When a person, community, or society moves closer toward these six ingredients of love, they are guided by a love ethic.

 

Care, commitment, knowledge, responsibility, respect, and trust. We can think about the many ways we may already be living up to these values. We are also invited to think about the places in our lives where there is room for growth. Committing to a love ethic calls us to look closely at the choices we make, both big and small, as well as the relationships we have with other people. A love ethic invites us to do this self-reflection not from a place of fear or shame, but instead from a place of love.

 

Every one of us is worthy of being treated with care, commitment, knowledge, responsibility, respect, and trust. When we are guided by a love ethic, we hold ourselves to this standard and require it from others. Living by a love ethic welcomes healing and justice into our lives, into our communities, and into our world.

 

I’d like to express gratitude to Dr. Marc A. Grimmett for incorporating the love ethic into our CCERC model, and for teaching us about its impact through word and example.

 

The Community Counseling, Education, and Research Center (CCERC) of the NC State Counselor Education Program provides short-term and affordable counseling services to individuals, couples, and families that focus on healthy personal, emotional, social, and career development.

 

The core values that ground our work at CCERC are: a world-class standard, love ethic, wellness focus, multiculturalism and social justice, trauma-informed care, and research and scholarship.

 

For more information about CCERC and the counseling services we offer, please visit go.ncsu.edu/ccerc or call us at 919-856-9233 Ext. 107. Our CCERC @ the WELL offices are located on the ground floor of the WELL building.