Coordinator, SEL: Contra Costa County Office of Education
Wow...so many thoughts running through my head right now. I think the new reality we find ourselves in with COVID-19 both presents many challenges and barriers as well as presents us with new opportunites. I feel there has been movement in the past few years where people are realizing the importance of SEL, and...it still is not necessarily a top priority among so many priorities. Those of us in the field have been trying to promote the message of "it's not one more thing on your plate, it is the plate" with various degress of success. The current Shelter-in-Place and the social-emotinal struggles it is brought to bear on both adults and students has even more so raised the awarness of how critical social emotional competency is to success. The opportunity is now, maybe more than ever, as there is a desire to weave SEL through everything we do from folks who perhaps had other priorites in the past.
Some things that I have found to work well are online platforms (Zoom, etc.) to present how SEL is critical to academic success and supporting our educators and students. I have been using the work of Marc Brackett to make the connection between emotion and engagement and weaving my own personal experiences of both times when I have been engaged and times I have been disengaged to connect with my audience.