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Classroom Resources

3 Indicators That You’re in Need of an SEL Solution

Many school professionals have cited learning gaps, staff shortages, testing, and COVID-related issues as their many stressors that weigh heavily on a daily basis.  This list is not exhaustive, and it doesn’t include the very real pressure and responsibility of taking on student mental health challenges which continue to soar at epic proportions.

Most people admit that they expected the fall 2021 start to the school year to be closer to “normal” than it turned out to be.  If you’re barely getting by and your plate is full, rest assured, you’re not alone.

Many children’s hospitals have declared a state of emergency, seeing skyrocketing rates of self-injurious behaviors and suicide attempts.  Only two years ago, if a child under the age of 13 showed up in an emergency department for a suicide attempt, it was considered a rare event.  Today, children as young as seven years of age are attempting to take their own lives.  These wounded youngsters are walking through your doors and the need for mental health supports are paramount.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures:

State standards determine what SEL looks like in each state. Every state has comprehensive, free-standing standards for SEL with developmental benchmarks in preschool, however, just eight states have standards for SEL development for early elementary students and eight more expand their standards to K-12 grades.” 

This leaves blanks for teachers to fill as they grasp for resources. 

So how can you know when it’s time to implement social-emotional learning?

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Teacher ambivalence around SEL… Normal

When she went to graduate school to get her teaching degree, Tamara never imagined that she would be spending a good part of her career managing classroom-wide trauma.  “I spend an average of six hours per day in direct instruction.  Of those six hours, I probably spend at least two and a half hours having conversations with my students to break through barriers that are preventing them from learning.”

This phenomenon is all too common in classrooms worldwide.  Kids’ lives are complicated.  Anxiety, depression, and trauma are occuring in epic proportions.

The numbers are staggering, so what is a teacher to do?  Should they ignore the palpable distress in the classroom in favor of test scores or address the whole child?  Most educators will admit that getting through the basics of teaching is nearly impossible.  Students walk in the door carrying so much more than a backpack, this simply cannot be ignored.  Continue Reading

Creating an environment of empathy: 6 classroom strategies you can implement today

On July 9, 2017, a group of five Florida teens, aged fourteen to nineteen, watched a man drown. They did not call for help. They did not try and assist him. In fact, the teens recorded the man’s final moments, taunted and mocked him as he struggled to stay afloat, and then posted the video of his death on YouTube. (CNN reported on the story.) And though this story speaks to many issues, one thing is certain. These teens lacked empathy. Continue Reading