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March 1, 2024
Vol. 81
No. 6
School Tool

Taking Note

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    School Culture
    Photo of a young woman of color writing in a journal
    Credit: k_Milko / iStock
      Journaling is tied to all kinds of mental health benefits—from curbing anxiety and stress to cultivating emotional regulation and self-awareness. But it can be a challenge to start from a blank page. The Black Emotional and Mental Health Collective, a nonprofit focused on healing and wellness resources for Black and marginalized people, curates a free collection of short writing and affirmation prompts to get pens moving.
      For instance, one group of exercises geared specifically toward educators includes eight fill-in-the-blank sentences that encourage writers to think about their individual boundaries, strengths, and work-life balance, as well as their role in contributing to the education community. The prompts range from reflection on individual feelings and assets ("I am giving myself credit for ___" or "My teaching strengths are ___") to goals for community ("I will advocate for better conditions for teachers by ___") to reasons for teaching ("I love being a teacher because, despite it all ___"). Other starters encourage processing feelings and self-affirmations ("I am thriving because I am ___" or "I feel most in my power when ___") or are geared toward Black educators' vision for wellness and Black liberation.
      The question stems, available as images for easy sharing, can be completed in a few minutes, individually or as a group—ideal for fitting in a little balance, even when pressed for time. See the full list at https://beam.c­ommunity/category/journal-prompts.

      Kate Stoltzfus is a freelance editor and writer for ASCD.

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