One of the best parts of the television show, The Office (US version), is the ridiculously colorful characters. They all work for a paper company in Scranton, but after that, they have nothing in common. (Please, if you have fifteen minutes to waste, do yourself a favor and read through Dwight’s Dunderpedia page.)
Ultimately, the show's beauty is how all the characters accept each other despite their differences. Every episode of the nine seasons explores the friction between quirky people who seemingly can’t help but be themselves. Despite the antics and the miserably boring industry (no offense to the paper companies of the world!), we all long to work at a place like Dunder Mifflin.
Really, what we’re talking about is creating an environment where people feel comfortable being themselves, a foundational ingredient to PSYCHOLOGICAL SAFETY.
Every kid (and adult) has an innate need to be seen, known, and accepted. We all long to be accepted and appreciated for our differences, too.
Without psychological safety amongst peers, the crucial task of identity formation throughout adolescence will be stunted. (Just think: have you ever met a grown-up who obviously still aches for acceptance?)
What can parents or educators do to encourage every kid to feel comfortable being themselves?
Brene Brown was right: vulnerability wins the day. But what’s an appropriate vulnerability amongst teens?
For years we’ve been studying what a young person needs in order to transition into a healthy, thriving adulthood.
They're uncommon sense ideas, really.
Download this checklist and use it with your students (or kids).