Dear Fellow Educators,

In response to COVID-19 school closings, we have compiled a variety of resources to help support you as you teach remotely and continue nurturing your students’ social-emotional learning. As you know, SEL is a framework for helping students develop critical skills for how they interact with others, manage their own emotions and behaviors, and develop into confident, productive, and empathetic individuals. Social-emotional skill building is often organized around five core standards: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision making.

Here are some tips and tricks for integrating SEL into the distance learning model effectively:

  • Select Weekly Themes: SEL is a complex concept to teach. While students are adjusting to the distance learning model and home life in a different way, the best way to teach SEL skills successfully is using an intentional, targeted approach. By selecting a theme or core competency for the week, you can easily communicate to students and parents what they will be working on across several days. Then, share a specific activity that can be accomplished each day.
  • Offer Short, Manageable Activities: When assigning SEL activities to students in the distance learning model, ensure that the activities are short (no more than 20 minutes), explicit, and manageable so they can be completed within a day. Without the daily structure of school, ongoing activities may be more challenging for students to complete.
  • Keep It Relevant: Assign SEL activities that are relevant to what is going on in students’ lives right now. Given the pandemic, students are struggling to understand what is happening around them. Striving for relevancy ensures that students are supported in the here and now while simultaneously building skills for life success.
  • Vary SEL Activities: To keep students engaged, make sure to vary the types of activities you offer to them. Distance learning is very different than teaching in a regular classroom. When you mix up the activities daily, students can look forward to new opportunities. Consider a range of activities such as books, role playing, videos, written responses, and more.

We invite you to check our Distance Learning page periodically for free resources related to social-emotional learning and empathy development.

 Stay safe, stay healthy, spread kindness.

Sam Drazin

Founder & Executive Director