Who is Miss Kendra?
Miss Kendra is every trusted adult that a child can talk to. Every child has something to share, and they often just need to be heard.
Miss Kendra curricula introduce children to the imaginal
social buffer of Miss Kendra—a kind, caring, trustworthy
adult who takes the time to ask every child how they are
doing and listens to them. Children learn that sharing their
worries helps, but adults have a lot to learn from Miss
Miss Kendra Programs empower your school community to be the support kids need—a listening ear, a trusted confidant, someone to share their worries, joys and triumphs with.
“Miss Kendra Programs provide a way for our students to give voice to their worries, and know our school is a safe place in which they can receive support.”
Principal, Edgewood Magnet School, New Haven,
“We have seen decreases in behavior; we have seen children speak their truths in letters to Miss Kendra and conversations on the carpet. To watch their faces after they speak their truths is like watching someone who has been trying to carry a large weight on their shoulders for a long time finally be able to put it down.”
2nd Grade Teacher, Bearfield Primary School,
Ahoskie, North Carolina
“Students have a chance to share thoughts and feelings without feeling judged.
“Students have a chance to share thoughts and
feelings without feeling judged.
Miss Kendra Model
At its core, Miss Kendra Programs centers on asking every child on a regular basis if they have experienced stressful events in order to identify problems early and strengthen their psychological immunity. For the child, this process consists of:
Identifying core stressors using Miss Kendra’s list (a list of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs);
Communicating to the child the existence of a knowledgeable and caring listener, such as their teacher and Miss Kendra;
Gaining language about these concepts to achieve more cognitive control of emotions.
Through the imaginative and playful world of Miss Kendra, students explore the worries and traumas that interfere with their ability to learn and focus on their schoolwork.
One Teacher’s Journey to Become Miss Kendra
I’ve learned a slew of classroom management strategies over the course of my career. As an experienced teacher, I have a pretty full toolbox of techniques. Yet, before Miss Kendra Programs, I never felt equipped to help students share their emotions, navigate relationships, unburden themselves of the traumas and worries in their lives or get at the root of the issues that stand in the way of learning. For a long time, we have just expected kids to arrive at school ready to learn. Discipline was the only acceptable response to students acting out or performing poorly on schoolwork. Now we know that the inability to focus, take in new information or relate in healthy social ways, is not a child’s fault. These are symptoms of unbuffered toxic stress. When teachers learn to address the underlying cause of these behaviors and act as a buffer, we can support our students to learn and grow as whole, healthy human beings. To do this, though, we need to learn to engage and guide students in open conversations. By becoming Miss Kendra, we can create the safe spaces students need in an imaginative and playful way, where difficult conversations don’t feel so scary. Students now wait
with anticipation for Miss Kendra Time as a place to learn and share their opinions, feelings, thoughts and personal experiences. Along my Miss Kendra journey, I have begun to shift the way that I see behavior. Instead of “fixing an issue,” I’ve learned to honor whatever is going on, address it, and help kids to unburden themselves and build lifelong skills. I have also found a change in myself as I’ve reconnected with my inner guide and reaffirmed my passion for teaching. These are long-term systemic changes that not only impact me and the children in my classroom, but create a billowing web within the school, in families and in the community. Miss Kendra Programs continue to guide me along this journey with structured lesson plans and support so that my role of Miss Kendra doesn’t just start and end with designated classroom time—it becomes a way of managing the classroom and relating to students. This is not just another tool in the toolbox. This is a transformational journey, and real change happens along the way.
· A Miss Kendra Teacher
Teachers are bringing Miss
Kendra to Life
Through the imaginative and playful world of Miss Kendra, students explore the worries and traumas that interfere with their ability to learn and focus on schoolwork. Lessons are rooted in core social emotional competencies.