If the global pandemic and school shutdowns taught us anything, it’s that we may have been taking teacher-student and student-student connections for granted pre-COVID. After all, with most or all students experiencing in-classroom learning, bonds, connections, and relationships are just bound to happen naturally. Even with students “connecting” virtually during the pandemic, it quickly became clear that we needed to do more to cultivate connections both in the remote setting and–once it was safe–in the classroom. With social emotional learning (SEL) becoming an increasingly important focal point for many districts, it made sense for us to build up this aspect of our educational offering.
Coaching and Professional Development
All teachers know that educational success comes from strong connections between themselves and their students. Thanks to an increased focus on social emotional learning, educators also realize that creating a safe, nurturing environment also means helping students recognize and manage their emotions; care for others; and, form positive relationships and make responsible decisions.
The Covid-19 pandemic may be on everyone’s minds right now, but school districts grappled with another pandemic before the virus changed our world. School violence incidents such as the Parkland School shooting were increasing, and students’ physical and mental well-being were at critical levels. New Caney Independent School District, northeast of Houston, Texas, understood that social emotional learning (SEL) and the missed opportunities to identify students with deficits played out in school–specifically in school violence.
To promote equity in education, it is crucial that educators can meet the needs of students beyond their academic goals, which requires being attuned to students’ diverse backgrounds and unique experiences. When educators build this important cultural competence and become advocates and supporters for students and their communities, schools take one step closer to equity in education.
SELEQUITY™ is an expression that looks at social emotional health, fairness, empathy, and compassion for all humanity through an equity lens. It reinforces the development of feelings, emotions, mindsets, and dispositions of people, both individually and collectively, to provide opportunities for all to grow and thrive, regardless of their circumstances.
Lupita Knittel believes that before we get back normal, whatever that is, education needs to build a new foundation. Forget curricula and assessments, and metrics, the importance of emotional health, for both students and teachers, needs to be the new priority. On this episode of EdTech Today, host Kevin Hogan sits down with Knittel to gain insight into how Social Emotional Learning is set to become a big part of education’s future.
Even with the pandemic continuing to impact our mental health, a social emotional learning platform can help the entire school population adopt a healthier, more positive mindset. Let’s face it, we’re all a little burned out on remote learning, hybrid classroom environments, Zoom, and other pandemic-related issues right now. As teachers, students, and parents, we’re all in the same boat as we work to balance the realities of our current situation with the need to keep students engaged, learning, and moving forward.
COVID-19 has caused a great deal of heartache and chaos in 2020, making it sometimes difficult to find the ‘positives’ in everyday life. But if there was a silver lining to be found in education, it was the outpouring of respect, appreciation, and love shown to educators.
What made schools great in 1989 is the same thing that will make them great in 2020. COVID-19 has changed everything, but the fundamentals of education have never changed and never will. In real estate it is all about location, in education it is all about relationships.
In 1997, new camera technology allowed us to view the brain at levels far exceeding anything ever conceived in the past. 99% of what we know about the brain has accumulated since that time and 80% of what we thought we knew was incorrect.