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HEART as a Model for Resilience in Schools pt. 1

HEART: an elevatEd Model for Resilience, with masked students inside a heart frame + elevatEd Classrooms logo

It takes HEART to develop & facilitate resilience in students and teachers

How do we teach resilience to our students? Or furthermore, how do we foster resilience within ourselves?

A few months ago, while conducting research for elevatEd SEL for the Whole Educational Community, I searched for “resilience” across multiple search engines.

Despite being in a global pandemic and asking educators to Reimagine School while still teaching traumatized children, my search results only brought about lengthy white papers about resiliency theories. There were no practical, purposeful models for resilience out there for educators!

elevatEd Teachers report time being the #1 resource of which they need more. So why are we expecting the busiest profession on the planet to drop everything as they Reimagine School to read a lengthy white paper as a model for resilience?

HEART: A Model for Resilience.
Jaclyn Sarnese & Taylor Fussner, 2021, elevatEd Classrooms.

Reimagining School requires active participation and collaborative strategic planning from the Whole Educational Community. We need you to show up as your best self, which requires your own resilience as well…and a lot of self-love!

Since we are teachers at elevatEd Classrooms, we get it.

HEART: A Model for Resilience

May we present elevatEd Resilience Model:



Active Engagement



elevatEd Resilience is actionable, practical, and purposeful. HEART is the perfect model for resilience in elevatEd Classrooms and Schools everywhere!

HEART: A Model for Resilience:
Humanity, Empathy, Active Engagement, Reflection, and Tenacity.
Jaclyn Sarnese & Taylor Fussner, 2021, elevatEd Classrooms.


Humanity refers to our need socialize with other humans. There are safe ways to facilitate socialization in-person as well as virtually as we Reimagine School. Humanity is feeling like we belong and learning from each other in both formal and informal environments.


Empathy is about pushing past surface-level connections with fellow humans. Developing empathy means seeing people for who they are on the inside, from trying to understand and respond to their feelings in addition to our own.

Active Engagement

Active Engagement is about connecting to the world physically through the use of our senses. Especially as we Reimagine School, it is imperative to creatively incorporate diverse sensory-input with student Active Engagement, regardless of diverse learning modes (ie hybrid).


Reflection refers to the invisible processing our brains do to observe and analyze the world around us. Our “True Self” (or false self) includes our thoughts and emotions. We must promote healthy, structured Reflection instead of allowing for minds to wander too far.


Tenacity is the ability to overcome adversity through grit and determination. Lessons learned in the last year showed us that we aren’t always prepared for the problems that need solving. Today’s tenacious trailblazers figure out ways to reach their goals anyway.

How are you implementing HEART in your elevatEd Classroom or School?

Want to empower your educators with HEART, a model for resilience?

Connect with Jaclyn from elevatEd Classrooms to elevate your Classrooms today!

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Paula Blanco, MAT

Paula Blanco is currently a bilingual  kindergarten teacher at a dual-immersion school. Paula first received a bachelor’s degree in foreign language teaching and in infant education. Paula found her passion teaching and went back for a MAT Spanish (teaching Spanish as a second language).  After her education, Paula moved from Spain to the United States. Ms. Blanco is an experienced teacher with 9+ years of classroom experience.

Amiee Masters Altman, MsEd

Aimee Masters Altman is currently a middle school language arts teacher in southern New Jersey.  As a teacher with over 13 years experience, she has worked as a Kindergarten-6th grade Library-Media Specialist, a 3rd grade inclusion teacher, as well as a middle school language arts teacher.  Mrs. Altman graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in Sociology with a concentration in health and medicine and a minor in Women’s Studies.  During her time at UPenn, she found her passion for teaching while working the Extended School Year program for students with special needs.  She then went on to earn her Master’s degree in Education in Reading/Writing/Literacy with a certification as a Reading Specialist from the University of Pennsylvania School of Education.  She continued her education for a Library-Media Specialist certification at Rutgers University.  Mrs. Altman has sat on many committees to analyze, select, and write curriculum.

Korey Sewell, PhD

Dr. Korey Sewell , founder of Hands-On Technology Education, is a professional engineer and educator specializing in Computer Science & Engineering. He received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Michigan (2012) and his Bachelor’s degree from the University of California at Riverside (2004). His professional background consists of work at places such as Intel, Apple, Qualcomm and MIPS Technologies with interests in Microprocessors, CPU Workloads, and Simulation Methodology. As an educator, Dr. Sewell aspires for Hands-On Technology to continue to fulfill its mission of empowering the K-12 demographic with innovative, practical, and affordable technology-based activities (summer camps, workshops, and after-school programs).

Jacqueline Masters, EDS, MA

Jacqueline received her Ed.S and M.A. degree in School Psychology from Rowan University and her B.S. degree in Psychology from Drexel University. She is currently certified in New Jersey and practices full time in the public school system. She has been working with the elementary and middle school students for 6+ years. She works to consult and collaborate with teachers, parents, and students to maximize their education and social experience. Additionally she completes cognitive and behavioral assessments as part of the Special Education process. She specializes in educating students, teachers, and parents on a variety of disorders such as anxiety, depression, ADHD, Autism, Specific Learning Disabilities, as well mood disorders and various developmental disorders.