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THE KEY: Hear what the students had to say

Teaching TEENAGERS about EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE is no easy task, but I was up for the challenge.

My latest book THE KEY became the workbook in my curriculum that I recently taught to grade 7 (12-13 year-olds) at Bialik College in Melbourne, the top academic school in the State.

But academia doesn’t factor when talking about emotions, as the Head of Middle School discovered when he attended one of my classes to find that it wasn’t the usual ‘smart kids’ putting their hands up, but everyone else also.

One-hour weekly classes, over a ten-week period, teaching roughly 75 students in total.

We truly started from the beginning:

“Does anyone know what emotional intelligence is?”

The response was 100% “no”.

As with every topic, they were asked to write down what they thought it might mean before bringing it in for a group discussion.

A large range of topics were covered using the tools of writing therapy, discussion, youtube, some activities, and journaling homework.

This course was about discovering your identity and thinking for yourself. There was no right or wrong, nothing was being marked or graded, this was about YOU, your thoughts, feelings, questions and concerns. Who are you? All big topics but when broken down in to smaller topics, it all can just make sense.

It is impossible to wrap up the course in one piece of writing so I will share with you some student feedback given to me on a few of the topics covered.

ON IDENTITY:

“I can be myself. I don’t need to hide anything”

POSITIVE THINKING:

“I thought I couldn’t do it (a task) but then I changed my thought pattern in to a positive one and I did it”

FRIENDSHIP:

“I started being more honest with my friends and they were honest to me and we made a stronger friendship”

ON SUCCESS AND FAILURE:

“I used to think I constantly failed but it really depends on how you define things”

FRIENDSHIP:

“Instead of saying ‘no’ to someone, I helped them with what they needed. It made me feel like a better person and a helpful person”

JEALOUSY AND ENVY:

“I watched something and I didn’t feel jealous and it felt really good”

LEARNING BREATH:

“I did better in a test because I took deep breaths first and felt much more calm”

TONE OF VOICE:

“I stopped a fight from happening by changing the tone in my voice”

APOLOGIES:

“I apologised to someone and I meant it for the first time ever”

EMPATHY:

“When walking down the street, I saw a homeless guy so I went to Coles and bought him a loaf of bread and vegemite”

TONE OF VOICE:

“I have used a different tone of voice with my siblings this week and we have had less arguments and a much better relationship”

NEGATIVE THOUGHT PATTERNS:

“I was disappointed with myself and used the 4-step process to feel better”

JEALOUSY AND ENVY:

“I got a mark on a test and my friend got higher and I was fine instead of jealous”

TONE OF VOICE:

“I now get in to less fights with my family with understanding my tone of voice”

FAMILY:

“That my parents divorce was not my fault”

A few other topics covered: Choices, Unconditional Love, Comparisons, Happiness, Sadness and Depression.

NEXT STEP?

To get this curriculum in to EVERY school. Any suggestions, advice, partnerships welcome.

Pages

The Key, A Social Emotional Toolkit for Teens

The Key, A Social Emotional Toolkit for Teens



A guidebook and resource for teenagers, parents, teachers and counsellors and can be taught in schools and community groups.

T

HE KEY, A Social Emotional Toolkit for Teens is a guidebook that covers all of those topics we just never learnt in school. It has over twenty topics under the umbrella of emotional intelligence; learning how to understand ourselves better and the world around us. THE KEY, A Social Emotional Toolkit for Teens guides students through important life skills, teaching coping strategies on various aspects of growing up through teenage years. 

Until now, I have taught THE KEY (1st Edition) myself as a 10-week program in 2017 and 2018 at Bialik College, the top school in Victoria Australia. This second edition: ‘THE KEY, A Social Emotional Toolkit for Teens’ launched in 2019 includes more activities, writing exercises, re-cap sections, youtube videos and discussion points. 

My aim in doing so is to reach more teenagers by making it easily accessible and digestible to more students and more teachers. This second edition holds all of the necessary information to be taught without my physical presence. It includes numerous videos I have made to explain more tricky topics such as understanding anxiety, negative thoughts, three different types of calming breathing techniques and more.

There is something for everyone.

Whilst I am still available to teach the course myself or run workshops on specific topics, redesigning THE KEY helps me achieve my larger goal – to reach more young people and help them lead a more socially emotionally healthy life. My dream is to have it translated in to numerous languages and available worldwide.

The language is simple and the guidance is practical. For younger teens it is a great introduction to the new world of understanding emotions and a useful ‘go to’ manual for when things arise. For mid and older teens it can be like having a personal counsellor on hand with tips and tools for handling different emotions and situations.

If you are a teacher, parent, educator, teen counsellor, school psychologist or teenager – this book is for you.



“The Key engages students to better understand their thoughts, emotions, behaviours, actions, reactions and how they interact with the school, their friends and with their parents at home. Romi’s aim is to increase self-awareness and create behaviour change at home, at school and out in the world. Clearly the students changed from some negative thoughts to positive ones as well as treating their peers and parents with more gratitude. Romi has changed a number of students in a positive manner and I commend her on all that she has achieved.”

Ian PoyserAssistant Principal-Pastoral Care Head of Middle School, Bialik College.

“The Key is very readable. (Romi) Grossberg addresses her teenage audience in a language that is unpatronizing while presenting complex issues and concepts with exceptional clarity.

The Key never offers bland, “look on the bright side” advice. Grossberg delivers a series of common-sense self-care strategies in a clear and comforting manner designed to help put adolescent problems in perspective. Moreover, she provides her readers with the strategies for practical problem-solving and finding solutions to stressful situations. The author also gives teenagers terrific tips on becoming more balanced and goal-oriented. As the readers navigate the activities they can come to powerful and meaningful decisions and take greater control of their lives.”

Kevin MorleyAuthor, Oxford University Press Independent Education Consultant

“Today’s teens are anxious and stressed. The pressure to keep up – both in school and online – has led to a mounting mental health crisis in schools and universities worldwide. It’s clear we need to take a preventative approach, one that will help our students find healthy ways to cope. Social and emotional learning provides the framework to get us there, but finding ways to get students onboard can be tough.

The Key is full of creative resources and strategies to help teens take ownership over their mental and emotional health, preparing them for life both in school and beyond.”

Amy Lauren SmithConsultant and Education Editor



Below are fifteen videos matched to the topics in your book THE KEY, A Social Emotional Toolkit for Teens. Just click on the numbered video when you come across ‘watch video’ in your book. Videos 6 to 15 are ‘locked’ due to privacy. Please register or sign-in to view them.

The Key, A Social Emotional Toolkit for Teens

The Key, A Social Emotional Toolkit for Teens



An interactive guidebook written for teenagers. A resource for parents, teachers and teen counsellors.

T

HE KEY, A Social Emotional Toolkit for Teens addresses many obstacles and difficulties adolescence face in emotional and mental health and provides them with practical and real-life steps toward greater health and confidence.

The Key engages teenagers using self enquiry and self awareness to better understand themselves, their thoughts, actions and reactions, giving them back a sense of self control. It offers practical guidance and strategies, putting seemingly complex issues in to perspective through learning, sharing, writing therapy, activities and fifteen videos.

With over 20 themes, The Key addresses topics such as anxiety and stress, negative thought patterns, exam preparation, controlled breathing, calming down, school, friendships, how to trust yourself, communicate effectively, understand sibling rivalry or a parents’ divorce and so much more.

The Key offers practical step-by-step guidance in how to lead a socially emotionally healthy life. In a world where mental health in adolescence is on the rise, this book aims to equip teenagers with the skills they need to thrive in school, in the home and in life.

If you are a teenager trying to understand yourself – your friendships, handle pressure, have good family relationships, deal with anxieties and get through school and life in a stress-free way, then this is for you.

If you are a parent wanting to assist, support and understand your teen better, then this book is for you.

If you are an educator, teen counsellor or school psychologist looking for a new resource full of activities, videos and practical explanations, then this book is for you.

If your school is interested in The Key, it can be taught in the classroom as a full course or as customised workshops by myself, a teacher or counsellor. Email: romigrossberg09@gmail.com



“The Key engages students to better understand their thoughts, emotions, behaviours, actions, reactions and how they interact with the school, their friends and with their parents at home. Romi’s aim is to increase self-awareness and create behaviour change at home, at school and out in the world. Clearly the students changed from some negative thoughts to positive ones as well as treating their peers and parents with more gratitude. Romi has changed a number of students in a positive manner and I commend her on all that she has achieved.”

Ian PoyserAssistant Principal-Pastoral Care Head of Middle School, Bialik College.

“The Key is very readable. (Romi) Grossberg addresses her teenage audience in a language that is unpatronizing while presenting complex issues and concepts with exceptional clarity.

The Key never offers bland, “look on the bright side” advice. Grossberg delivers a series of common-sense self-care strategies in a clear and comforting manner designed to help put adolescent problems in perspective. Moreover, she provides her readers with the strategies for practical problem-solving and finding solutions to stressful situations. The author also gives teenagers terrific tips on becoming more balanced and goal-oriented. As the readers navigate the activities they can come to powerful and meaningful decisions and take greater control of their lives.”

Kevin MorleyAuthor, Oxford University Press Independent Education Consultant

“Today’s teens are anxious and stressed. The pressure to keep up – both in school and online – has led to a mounting mental health crisis in schools and universities worldwide. It’s clear we need to take a preventative approach, one that will help our students find healthy ways to cope. Social and emotional learning provides the framework to get us there, but finding ways to get students onboard can be tough.

The Key is full of creative resources and strategies to help teens take ownership over their mental and emotional health, preparing them for life both in school and beyond.”

Amy Lauren SmithConsultant and Education Editor



Below are fifteen videos matched to the topics in your book THE KEY, A Social Emotional Toolkit for Teens. Just click on the numbered video when you come across ‘watch video’ in your book. Videos 6 to 15 are ‘locked’ due to privacy. Please register or sign-in to view them.

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The Key-JULY 2019

The Key, A Social Emotional Toolkit for Teens



A guidebook and resource for teenagers, parents, teachers and counsellors and can be taught in schools and community groups.

T

HE KEY, A Social Emotional Toolkit for Teens is a guidebook that covers all of those topics we just never learnt in school. It has over twenty topics under the umbrella of emotional intelligence; learning how to understand ourselves better and the world around us. THE KEY, A Social Emotional Toolkit for Teens guides students through important life skills, teaching coping strategies on various aspects of growing up through teenage years. 

Until now, I have taught THE KEY (1st Edition) myself as a 10-week program in 2017 and 2018 at Bialik College, the top school in Victoria Australia. This second edition: ‘THE KEY, A Social Emotional Toolkit for Teens’ launched in 2019 includes more activities, writing exercises, re-cap sections, youtube videos and discussion points. 

My aim in doing so is to reach more teenagers by making it easily accessible and digestible to more students and more teachers. This second edition holds all of the necessary information to be taught without my physical presence. It includes numerous videos I have made to explain more tricky topics such as understanding anxiety, negative thoughts, three different types of calming breathing techniques and more.

There is something for everyone.

Whilst I am still available to teach the course myself or run workshops on specific topics, redesigning THE KEY helps me achieve my larger goal – to reach more young people and help them lead a more socially emotionally healthy life. My dream is to have it translated in to numerous languages and available worldwide.

The language is simple and the guidance is practical. For younger teens it is a great introduction to the new world of understanding emotions and a useful ‘go to’ manual for when things arise. For mid and older teens it can be like having a personal counsellor on hand with tips and tools for handling different emotions and situations.

If you are a teacher, parent, educator, teen counsellor, school psychologist or teenager – this book is for you.

THE KEY has been taught in workshop or full course form at:

Bialik College, Australia. 2017, 2018.

PanyaDee International School, Thailand. 2019.

THE KEY has been presented at:

The Cultures of Thinking Conference, Australia. 2019.

PHASE International Education Conference, Hong Kong. 2019.



“The Key engages students to better understand their thoughts, emotions, behaviours, actions, reactions and how they interact with the school, their friends and with their parents at home. Romi’s aim is to increase self-awareness and create behaviour change at home, at school and out in the world. Clearly the students changed from some negative thoughts to positive ones as well as treating their peers and parents with more gratitude. Romi has changed a number of students in a positive manner and I commend her on all that she has achieved.”

Ian PoyserAssistant Principal-Pastoral Care Head of Middle School, Bialik College.

“The Key is very readable. (Romi) Grossberg addresses her teenage audience in a language that is unpatronizing while presenting complex issues and concepts with exceptional clarity.

The Key never offers bland, “look on the bright side” advice. Grossberg delivers a series of common-sense self-care strategies in a clear and comforting manner designed to help put adolescent problems in perspective. Moreover, she provides her readers with the strategies for practical problem-solving and finding solutions to stressful situations. The author also gives teenagers terrific tips on becoming more balanced and goal-oriented. As the readers navigate the activities they can come to powerful and meaningful decisions and take greater control of their lives.”

Kevin MorleyAuthor, Oxford University Press Independent Education Consultant

“Today’s teens are anxious and stressed. The pressure to keep up – both in school and online – has led to a mounting mental health crisis in schools and universities worldwide. It’s clear we need to take a preventative approach, one that will help our students find healthy ways to cope. Social and emotional learning provides the framework to get us there, but finding ways to get students onboard can be tough.

The Key is full of creative resources and strategies to help teens take ownership over their mental and emotional health, preparing them for life both in school and beyond.”

Amy Lauren SmithConsultant and Education Editor



Below are fifteen YouTube videos matched to the topics in your book THE KEY, A Social Emotional Toolkit for Teens. Just click on the numbered video when you come across ‘watch video’ in your book. Videos 11 and 13 are ‘locked’ due to privacy. As the reader of THE KEY, you are invited to register and be able to view them.

 The Key – Video 01: Hello!

The Key – Video 02: Who am I and why I wrote the book

The Key – Video 03: Unlocked: What’s in the Curriculum

The Key – Video 04: What teenagers think

The Key – Video 05: Finding a Counsellor is like shopping for shoes

The Key – Video 06: Learning Belly Breaths

The Key – Video 07: Breathing with colours

The Key – Video 08: Mindfulness Meditation

The Key – Video 09: Let’s understand anxiety

The Key – Video 10: Understanding Negative Thoughts

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The Key – Video 12: Tone of Voice

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