Real Stories

High School Student, grade 12

High School Student, grade 12

“I struggle with anxiety, and when I’m having a hard time, things sort of pile up, and I don’t know how to separate them enough to deal with them. One of my teachers said that every time she rides the subway, she takes a Meta-Moment to check in with herself and remember to be her best self. That helped me alot. Taking a moment when I’m on the subway helps me think about what I have to do that day so I can calm down and separate things into more achievable   read more

Elementary Student, age 10

Elementary Student, age 10

“I use the Meta-Moment to help me listen to other people. Last month, me and my friend were doing a fundraiser for people in Oklahoma and we were talking about what to write on the flyer. We got in an argument, but I took a Meta-Moment and realized I needed to let her talk. She told me some ideas I hadn’t thought of and they were really   read more

Middle School Student, age 12

Middle School Student, age 12

“Last year, one of my friends came up and told me something mean. I looked at the Charter and it said we wanted to be respectful, so I said not to say that because it might hurt someone’s feelings. I like that you can always look at the Charter and it’ll help you stay out of   read more

Dennis Guillaume, Elementary Teacher, Spring Glen School

Dennis Guillaume, Elementary Teacher, Spring Glen School

“Last year, we had one girl who was very mean to the other kids. She was quite low academically and resentful that she was different from the rest of the class. One day at lunch, some boys said, ‘raise your hand if you think this student is mean,’ and everyone raised their hands. I found out, so we had a class meeting where we read the class Charter and talked about how we felt. The girl was able to verbalize her frustration with being academically low. She said she was trying her hardest, but it was difficult, and she felt isolated. People were crying, and it was quite an amazing meeting. For the girl involved, it was a breakthrough. By the time we were done, everyone understood how everyone else felt. I would not have been able to facilitate that meeting if I didn’t have the Charter, the Mood Meter, and the Meta Moment at my   read more

Margaret Aguirre, Elementary Teacher, Montessori Magnet School

Margaret Aguirre, Elementary Teacher, Montessori Magnet School

“I use RULER when we’re talking about characters in books. For example, students will say the character was sad or angry, but the Mood Meter helps them think about what evidence shows that and what other words we could use to be more specific. RULER gives the students an opportunity and a means to dig deeper into a story. It helps them think about why characters and ultimately people behave the way they do or feel the way they do. It gives them a way to connect to a   read more

Kindergarten Student, age 6

Kindergarten Student, age 6

“When we’re driving in the car, sometimes [my siblings] will be arguing, and that makes me feel frustrated. So I say, “Let’s take a Meta-Moment.” I think about going to the beach or playing with frogs because they’re fun to catch, and then I feel better. Everyone gets calmer, and Mommy   read more

Brooke Jackson, NYC Lab School Principal, grades 9-12

Brooke Jackson, NYC Lab School Principal, grades 9-12

“Our school has always valued a culture of care, but RULER has given us a toolkit and a shared language to help us create that culture. It’s given us a way to help students visualize and be their best selves. For example, a student was in my office recently for fighting with a teacher. Underlying the student’s belligerence was that she felt like the teacher never called on her and didn’t see her as a serious student. I told her that I know she’s a serious student, but how can she use the Meta-Moment to show her best self in class instead of choosing to be disruptive? We role played it out, and she was able to go back to the teacher and talk it out. With RULER, our students are starting to recognize that they control their emotions. They feel empowered, and that takes root in all aspects of their lives, including their   read more

Marla Dakin, Social Worker, Montessori Magnet School

Marla Dakin, Social Worker, Montessori Magnet School

“We had a playground conflict recently where a couple of girls were telling another girl that she was disgusting. I used the Blueprint to talk to the kids individually. I asked how they felt and asked them to think about what it was like for that other girl. The Blueprint really helps the kids think and reflect, then take it to the next step to say, how are we going to restore the relationship? In this case, the kids came up with inviting the girl to their classroom to do a project together. That philosophy of compassion was already in the school, but RULER helps us take it deeper. It helps the students be more in tune, more aware, and more   read more