Building Positive Relationships First
COVID-19 has caused families, students, and teachers to all feel disconnected from their schools. Reducing that isolation and building strong, positive relationships is going to be necessary before academic learning begins again. Pre-COVID-19, the rush to cover all of my content standards was a barrier to implementing sufficient SEL into my regular instruction. With state testing suspended and instructions from schools and districts focused on serving marginalized students and teaching with equity in mind, it now seems as if SEL is gaining status in all schools. I believe teachers need to share the SEL work they are doing with professional learning communities that include students, teachers, administrators, and parents. As a teacher, I frequently struggle when I try to engage with parents, but under COVID-19 it feels like more parents are interested in partnering with educators and schools to do what is best for children. Let's capitalize on this momentum and build meaningful groups willing to infuse more SEL into their instruction.