As educators meet the challenge of addressing the social emotional needs of students during the COVID-19 public health crisis, it’s important to tend to the social emotional needs of educators, too.
Social Emotional Learning (SEL) can help children deal with the stressors and challenges they are facing. This is true every day of the year, but even more important during our public health crisis. in order to cultivate students’ social-emotional skills, the adults in your building also need to feel supported and valued.
Teachers and administrators shared their perceptions in a recent Phi Delta Kappa survey (March 2020). Presented during a Casel Cares Webinar, only three percent of teachers felt that their own social emotional needs were being addressed during their work from home. In another CASEL report, Supporting SEL through the peak of COVID-19, school administrators Jody and Teresa have advice for teachers. Jody reminds teachers to have compassion for themselves. “We have to take good care of our own well-being before we can take care of the students.” Teresa, talks about the work-life balance. She suggests that educators should create boundaries between office hours and family time.
Teachers have suggestions too. Sara advises that teachers collaborate, and recommends teaming up to connect, plan, and support. Greg stresses the importance of a sense of humor. Deidre adds that educators can rely on social supports and a commitment to check-in in with colleagues.
Research by Penn State University (2020) found that teachers who developed their own SEL skills not only improved their own well-being, but also improved the social, emotional and academic development of their students. And, school leaders with strong social and emotional competence positively impact teacher effectiveness and climate.
CASEL Cares Initiative (2020, April 30). Connecting the SEL Community. CASEL. https://casel.org/resources-covid/
Penn State University (2019, May 1). A Comprehensive Guide to Adult SEL. Panorama Ed. https://www.panoramaed.com/blog/comprehensive-guide-adult-sel
Examine the list of resources below. Choose readings and tools to promote self-care, for you as an administrator and your staff along with activities to conduct at virtual staff meetings.
Issue Brief: Principals Social and Emotional Competence—Penn State University : Strategies for supporting school leaders’ emotional well-being and SEL leadership capability. Examples of actions administrators can take:
- Check-Ins: Begin all conversations, visits, and meetings with a brief personal check-in.
- Staff Meetings: Openers and ice-breakers
- Check-in calendar:Create a schedule to deliver positive, good news check-ins with staff to Notice What’s Going Well.
SEL and Self-Care Resources for Educators, Schools, and Parents Related to COVID-19: A list of informational resources, articles, and guides to support educators during the COVID health crisis.
Comprehensive Guide to Adult SEL Strategies and tools to strengthen adult SEL.
Adult SEL Toolkit–Three Activities to Practice Modeling SEL: Easy to implement staff meeting activities to help adults understand and develop critical skills. Three activities to help adults practice SEL such as emotion regulation, social awareness, and self-management.
Setting Personal Goals for Self-Care: Taking care of yourself is the best gift you can give your students
Personal Assessment and Reflection Tool—SEL Competencies for Adults: A framework and process for adults reflect on their own social and emotional development.
Webinar: Mindfulness Strategies for Adult and Student Wellness: Strategies to support anxiety and stress.
Webinar: Building Connectedness and Belonging for Students While School Buildings are Closed: Strategies and systems to build a virtual classroom community