Before my days as a mom and HST, I was a classroom teacher in a large Bay Area school district, and within my first year, I became a well-known lead teacher. Although I honed the necessary skills to be a highly effective teacher, what truly set my classroom apart was my understanding that connected students create a more successful classroom. People of all ages learn more, work better together, and thrive in environments they care about, feel like they belong in, and deeply connect with.

When I became a mother, my passion for nurturing a sense of deep connection and belonging among children became even more meaningful. I wanted my son to have a foundation of connection, love, and empathy to be able to overcome life’s roadblocks and adversities, to be able to communicate effectively, and to have healthy, satisfying relationships. These are the building blocks of a securely attached, resilient, connected child with a high EQ (emotional intelligence). Research shows a person with a higher EQ is more likely to achieve all of those qualities and skills in addition to one’s life goals.

SELF at Cottonwood provides the foundation for our students to raise their EQ through self-awareness, self-management, responsible decision-making, social awareness, and relationship skills. While all the lessons are also available through our SELF Talk newsletter, Mindset Mondays are a series of Zoom sessions taught by me and divided by age group to provide a quick and engaging lesson where our students can learn and connect with each other while raising their EQ. Students get to interact with their peers, talk about their interests and passions, learn how to be a leader, become more grateful, overcome limiting beliefs, make a difference, and create connections with themselves and others. I look forward to seeing your students at Mindset Mondays!

Connection is why we’re here. We are hardwired to connect with others, it’s what gives purpose and meaning to our lives” – Brené Brown


Kelly McIntosh