Tools for Life creates the positive atmosphere in the
classroom that allows learning to take place.
Educators play an important role in promoting children and youth’s well-being by
creating, fostering, and sustaining a learning environment that is healthy, caring,
safe, inclusive, and accepting. A learning environment of this kind will support not
only students’ cognitive, emotional, social, and physical development but also
their mental health, their resilience, and their overall state of well-being.
All this will help them achieve their full potential in school and in life.
Teachers who introduce the Tools for Life resource in their classrooms begin to share a common language with their students, and their students with each other. There is a frame of reference for dealing with the ups and downs of relationships in school and beyond. Classroom management is less the issue. Better learning is the outcome.
And when this learning is reinforced at home using HomeSTART, the rewards are exponential.
Tools for Life enables teachers from JK to Grade 8 to:
- build positive relationships amongst and with their students
- build the skills that are foundational to character development, conflict resolution, anti-bullying, peacemaking and restorative justice
- build an inclusive, co-operative learning environment
- communicate more effectively with parents
- spend less time in classroom management
- increase their students’ likelihood of staying in school and achieving academic success
- experience increased job satisfaction.
Grades 1, 2 and 3
From the start, Tools for Life uses a common language embracing all cultures that is easily understood and allows everyone self-expression and consistent ways to work out conflict. By Grades 1, 2 and 3, while lessons are still primarily oral in nature, teachers can decide on the readiness of the class for particular instruction or activities based on reading and writing levels. Regardless of format, children now advance their skills in areas such as co-operation, goal-setting and problem-solving.
Grades 4, 5 and 6
At the Grade 4, 5 and 6 level, children are supported while they try out, evaluate and personalize life tools and strategies which promote their resiliency, confidence and emotional well-being. They are encouraged to examine a positive, inclusive world view. The program provides maturing learners with an environment where healthy relationships are seen as attainable by all, and creative solutions to life’s unexpected challenges can be navigated collaboratively.
Grades 7 and 8
By Grades 7 and 8, Tools for Life learning can be impressive indeed. Students are ready to examine and tackle cultural stereotypes and gender bias. They examine the nature of conflict escalation and develop self-calming techniques. They learn how to ‘look for’ self-projections, body language clues or masked feelings and how to move from a defensive stance to a cooperative stance. Their own personal map with strategies and tools helps them de-escalate emotionally charged situations and build trust and respect in their relationships.
Staff training ensures that consistent language and standardized strategies are used and sustained throughout the school – on the playground, in lunch rooms, in hallways as well as in classrooms.
Parent “take-homes” and a Tools for Life child and family workshop ensures transfer of in-school learning to home and community.
Training, consultation, coaching and a community of practice support teachers in the successful implementation of Tools for Life and ongoing problem-solving.
Watch this video to discover what Teachers and Principals are saying about Tools for Life.
Tools for Life Blog
“Tools for Life has supported the way in which we, as educators, promote social and emotional learning, in our classroom. As we moved through each lesson, we recognized that many of the strategies, we are already doing. However, the lessons extended our thoughts and provided tips and Tools to enhance and extend our support. We […]
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“An invaluable resource for any school community.”
John Klein, St. Matthew Catholic School
“Our primary students have benefitted from this program, and all our teachers in primary division have a framework to use to help students navigate feelings and conflict. We have been proud to be included in the program.”
Leo Pellizzari, Mother Teresa Catholic School
The Tools for Life program came as a real gift to my kindergarten classroom this year. We had a class with lots of energy and the Tools for Life program helped us all to focus our energy in positive ways. It helped us all to learn about ourselves and our friends and how to be a classroom community. Stories, visuals, activities and home links are all part of the program, making it user friendly and all encompassing. I’d recommend it for every family and classroom!