We Can Wednesday with a Team Approach and Family

Posted by Brenda Yoho
Lead with Two Rules: Feeling Good & Feeling Safe by Brenda Yoho
Be part of the problem or part of the solution, the choice is always yours to make.

Team Structure to Serve the Whole Child with "Lead with Two Rules: Feeling Good & Feeling Safe"

In our school, we embraced a holistic approach to education by integrating the "Lead with Two Rules: Feeling Good & Feeling Safe" philosophy. This approach emphasized addressing the emotional needs of students as robustly as their academic needs. We understood that emotional well-being and academic success are deeply intertwined, and we aimed to create a nurturing environment where students could thrive in both areas.

Holistic Approach to Education

Our belief was simple yet profound: if a student was struggling emotionally, they would also struggle academically. By prioritizing emotional well-being, we removed barriers to learning, enabling students to reach their full potential. We instilled this philosophy across all grade levels, creating a cohesive and supportive community that functioned like a family.

Creating Grade-Level Teams

To implement this approach, we organized our school into grade-level teams, each dedicated to understanding and meeting the unique needs of their students. These teams focused on building strong connections with students, recognizing that relationships are the foundation of effective education. Each team worked tirelessly to:

  1. Know Their Students: Teams made it a priority to understand the strengths, weaknesses, interests, and challenges of every student. This knowledge allowed for personalized academic and emotional support.
  2. Teach Practical and Executive Skills: Beyond academics, we taught students essential life skills, including self-regulation, time management, and problem-solving. These skills were crucial for their overall development and success.
  3. Develop Academic and Behavioral Strategies: Teams collaboratively developed strategies to support both academic progress and positive behavior. They designed interventions tailored to individual needs, ensuring that every student felt supported and capable.

To support the grade level teams, we had focused support teams to provide additional layers to serve as intervention, prevention and additional resources.

Building a Family Atmosphere

As our teams invested in their students, the school began to feel more like a large, interconnected family. This sense of belonging fostered a positive and inclusive atmosphere where both staff and students thrived. Some key elements of our family-like environment included:

  • Strong Relationships: Teachers and staff built genuine, caring relationships with students, making them feel valued and understood.
  • Emotional Investment: Students, recognizing that they were part of a supportive community, became more invested in their own success and the success of their peers.
  • Shared Goals: Both staff and students worked towards common goals, creating a sense of unity and purpose.

Outcomes and Benefits

The impact of this approach was profound. By addressing the emotional and academic needs of students simultaneously, we witnessed remarkable transformations:

  • Improved Academic Performance: With emotional barriers removed, students were better able to focus on their studies and achieve higher academic standards.
  • Enhanced Emotional Well-Being: Students felt safer, happier, and more secure, leading to improved overall well-being.
  • Positive School Culture: The entire school community experienced greater happiness and cohesion, creating a vibrant and supportive environment for everyone.


By adopting the "Lead with Two Rules: Feeling Good & Feeling Safe" philosophy, we redefined what it means to educate the whole child. Our commitment to meeting the emotional and academic needs of students created a nurturing family atmosphere that fostered both personal and academic growth. This holistic approach not only improved outcomes for our students but also brought our entire school community closer together, reinforcing the idea that education is most effective when it addresses the complete well-being of every child. It is when we work together home-school-community, we will have the solutions we are looking for.

"I only have 2 rules!"
© 2024 Brenda Yoho
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