Let's make CA the first state to offer high quality SEL professional development to ALL educators!
In a 2018 study by McGraw Hill (https://www.mheducation.com/prek-12/explore/sel-survey.html), only 22% of teachers said they felt "very prepared" to teach Social Emotional Learning.
Let's make of CA the first state to offer SEL professional development to all its teachers and staff! Typical objections might be: lack of time, lack of budget. While most of us prefer having a coach physically present to guide us through our professional development, finding a time and date that works for all staff members is challenging...sometimes impossible. As a result, many educators have never received professional development about SEL. With social distancing, the opportunity for in person training is even more uncertain, however more than ever students' and educators social emotional needs should be prioritized.
Are there cost-effective and time-effective SEL professional development solutions that could work?
By leveraging technology, each educator can have access to SEL professional development through mobile learning. By gamifying the learning, educators stay engaged and are incentivized to complete their learning journey. As a result, all CA educators could be provided essential SEL professional development in a record time. They could start with basic foundations such as: creating a safe space in their classroom, getting to know and building their community, modeling self-awareness, self-management and responsible decision-making, practicing self-care, understanding how emotions impact learning, connecting behaviors they might see in the classroom (e.g. withdrawal, aggression, sudden change etc.) with emotions like sadness, fear, anxiety, anger, and joy.
Their learning could then continue to grow with more complex units about ACEs, trauma, affective neuroscience, ADHD, biases etc.
Each school or district could be a team and could collect points to see which team completes the most SEL professional development!
Of course, each school can always offer in person training or live-distance training to complement the mobile learning component but let's at least ensure that all educators acquire a basic common set of tools needed to support their students' well-being and learning.
Looking forward to hearing your reactions to this cost-effective solution that could allow educators to feel more confident they can address their students' emotional needs when school resumes. Happy to contribute my expertise and make this happen!