While social-emotional learning (SEL) has always been a critical part of an effective and caring education, it is more critical than ever to acknowledge and address the social and emotional needs of children. Unfortunately, all students are coming into the new school year having experienced significant changes from their pre-pandemic lives. Some students have lost loved ones, housing, or a sense of safety and stability. While others may have struggled to understand the nature of a pandemic and its effects.
Hopefully, students have loved ones who helped them handle pandemic-related experiences over the summer. But educators can also support the social-emotional needs of students right now. While all students need individual attention at some point, whole-class activities can benefit everyone. Even spending a few minutes each day on breathing exercises or reflection journals can help students feel more centered and ready to learn.
The SEL Center in DE has tools for mindfulness at all grade levels, along with resources for stress management, Virtual Field Trips for self-discovery, and special series from the Child Mind Institute and other partners.