Tina Raspanti drives from Pittsburgh to Philadelphia each month to attend the CAPP program; that’s 6 hours each way. She comes in on Friday evening after teaching a full week at Mt Lebanon school district and then drives home late Sunday evenings when class is over — giving her just a short time to digest, unwind, rest and prepare for another week at school.
It is such a delight to observe such purpose in action – a veteran teacher (25 years!) who is also a student, making sacrifice upon sacrifice to enhance her wellbeing and life.
At our last onsite, we spent time using the science of purpose and meaning to craft statements of our life’s intention. Tina’s is to educate, mindfully model care, and encourage others to better care for their own well being and those they touch, thereby creating more caring communities.
This is social-emotional leadership, walking the talk, and being the change we wish to see in the world.
Tina was drawn to being a teacher from a psychology class she took in college.
“I loved the way it made me think about myself, life and others. I’ve always been curious about why we think and behave the way we do. That first intro to Psych professor was an inspiration to me, he also introduced me to Leo Buscaglia’s work, specifically his book Love, a great influence on me. I knew then, that I wanted to share this “feeling and curiosity” with high school age students.”
Today, she teaches psychology to high school age students. Around 2005 she adopted David Myers’ text for her AP Psych course and the publishers sent a supplemental text Pursuing Human Strengths by Martin Bolt.
Since then, she has read a variety of books related to social emotional learning and mindfulness which has led her to CAPP.
“If we truly want to educate the whole child, to help them on their journey of life, to give them additional tools that I firmly believe will help them achieve even more success in college, in their career and most importantly for their own self-care, then we need to do more. Teaching them positive interventions, helping them to build social and emotional intelligence and to facilitate a more mindful community – these are the missing ingredients to educating the whole child. Let me add, that I think the tipping point is near – students are craving these skills, and so are adults. These tools can help create a more mindful individual, school district and community.”
With Tina taking leadership, we will see more mindful and successful individuals, school districts, and communities.
<Spotlight contributed by Louis Alloro.>