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Teaching students to understand their feelings
posted by: Tamia | March 27, 2020, 03:03 PM   

By Lauren Golubski


Suddenly school is not a physical space for many students, teachers, administrators, and staff. Daily routines of seeing many of these familiar faces in the morning, the ability to hug a friend, or receive a high-five, or fist bump from a teacher are on pause for the foreseeable future. However, social distancing does not mean communication should stop, and if anything, it should continue as consistently as possible, as your students need you even more. As adults, we struggle to make sense of this pandemic, including how we may feel, what challenges are affecting us, and how to navigate the world we currently live in. However, our students are still growing, developing, and understanding these abstract emotions called feelings and need support and guidance to understand their feelings a little more each day. 


In order to better understand those feelings, tough, challenging, yet practical and productive conversations need to occur through social emotional learning (SEL). According to the source, The Collaborative for Academic, Social, Emotional Learning (CASEL), “Social and emotional learning (SEL) is the process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.”


It is not a matter of which online teaching materials you are going to use, but a matter of how you are going to connect to your students to continue to maintain and grow positive relationships. Depending on the age range of the students you teach, this challenging time can actually allow them to gain a broader range of skills necessary to understand and cope with the many emotions they’re experiencing, thus better navigate the ups and downs of life in the future. As March 27th has been designated International SEL Day; we believe it is essential to acknowledge the importance of SEL and equip you as an educator with social emotional learning tools and resources to help inspire and support you and your students:


CASEL Cares Initiative

CASEL CARES is a new initiative that connects the SEL community (educators, parents, and students) with experts to address how SEL can be most helpful in response to today’s circumstances.


Aperture Education

At Aperture Education, you can find downloadable pdf files that can help support your students in the home space, as well as a blog of activities, adult learning videos to practice mindfulness, and more.


Edutopia: Social and Emotional Learning

Edutopia provides many articles, including Seven ways to maintain Relationships During Your School Closure, videos, and strategies to use not only during this time but throughout the whole school year.


Committee For Children

Here you will find many resources that allow guiding with kindness and supporting with empathy through school and at home blogs, podcasts, activities, and more.

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