RESETTING FOR RESILIENCE: REINFORCING THE LINK BETWEEN SEL AND ACADEMICS FOR THE NEXT PHASE OF THE PANDEMIC. Source: NLG
All across the country, schools are opening up their doors for the start of the school year. Again, we find ourselves amidst a pandemic, something that as a nation we certainly had hoped would not be the case by the start of the 2021–2022 school year. COVID has changed so much about education, Social Emotional Learning (SEL) being one aspect. SEL used to have one definition with varying degrees of importance.
For some it was just “unicorns and rainbows.” But the pandemic has surfaced so many elements, layering them on to this dated perspective and expanding how we both view and value SEL. We’re seeing it in a whole new light. For starters, we’re appreciating the connection between SEL and academics more than ever. There is an urgency and opportunity to implement strategies that reinforce the connection between both. And we all know connections and relationships matter. In a classroom we see three relationships at play:
The relationship a student has with other students,
The relationship a student has with the teacher,
And the relationship a student has with the content.
Of course, SEL plays a big role in the relationships among peers and between peers and teachers. What’s becoming more apparent now across differing schools of thought is the SEL connection that is prevalent between the student and the content. From 30,000 feet, it may look like a math teacher is simply teaching the quadratic formula. Peel back the layers and you’ll see that they are teaching students much more than how to solve equations. Students are developing SEL skills that will help them not only solve real-world problems, but evaluate a problem and then ultimately demonstrate the perseverance to work through it until there is a solution. We’re in the middle of this eye-opening moment where people are understanding that SEL doesn’t just impact the compassion kids have towards each other on the playground but also shapes how they show up in class, whether that’s in person or online.
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