WE Well-being is taking education to the next level
A celebrated educator explains the importance of discovering self-worth.
Jacqueline Sanderlin, or Doctor J as she is known, is the champion of theWhy Not mindset. As in, “Why not, you?” It’s a question the veteran educator and celebrated innovator puts toWE Day audiences and school communities across the United States. “You are enough, worth it and positioned for greatness. Speak it and do it!” she tells people of all ages. “There is no one on Earth like you. No one! You are enough.” “Why not?” It’s a proposition, a dare and a measure of self-worth. “Why not starts with well-being,” she explains. “It’s the root of the flower that’s going to blossom, an essential piece that’s necessary for any human to grow in whatever they are going to do.” Dr. Sanderlin served for thirty-some years as a teacher, principal and administrator in
Ingleside and Compton Unified School Districts surrounding Los Angeles, California. During that time, she witnessed countless students fail not because they were failures, but because they were not well. “You’re not well if you’re not nurtured.” Not so long ago, school counselors were reactionary, she says—“dealing with a fight that happened, showing up in the aftermath of crises, rarely learning to reduce or stop a problem.” Educators talked in circles about bullying without truly tackling the problem—at least not until they realized that the problem had a name and a back story. “It’s not enough to have programs to reduce bullying unless you have programs to help understand why they are bullied in the first place.” So that is where we are now, she says. “Educational conferences that once focused on reading, writing and pedagogy now focus on mental health.”
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