SEL, PBIS, Restorative Practices, Distance Learning, Oh Me Oh My!
There are so many great responses capturing the challenges and the wins schools/educators are having right now on this Wiki.
As a founder of an SEL training and curriculum company, we are seeing administrators/partners coming to us across the country with their hands up in the air not knowing where to begin. They want staff to feel cared for and safe, and they want to help their students with trauma, loss, disconnection, and learning loss. We want to provide PD that supports staff wellness first. Just like our students, we want to support staff so that they are seen and heard and to give them a safe place to process this irregular experience. It is then that we can prepare our staff and administrators on how to respond to our student's needs. We want to build our staff's resiliency skills and SEL competencies so that they are prepared for the next year. It's going to be a new time, and the staff will need new skills. We show educators that SEL doesn't need to interrupt the school day but can be a compliment to what they are already doing. We want SEL to include everyone. when we facilitate, we ask educators to think creatively and out of the box when they want to explore deeper connections with each other and students, we ask them to focus on the relationship so that students feel safe making mistakes. We support youth workers to build their relationships, use humor in their teaching practices, and how to use their personal narrative to create more social equity in their classrooms. We even see success with distance learning!
With the 'in your face' inequities that are being brought to light right now as well as the possible past and current trauma occurring for most of us (adults and kids)-- we have to get on the same page in each school building/organization, from admin, families, receptionists, and building managers, etc. we all want to use common language and support each other and youth. We want to create communities of support inside the school building. That doesn't mean every school or organization has to implement the very same things. For us, it means that we need to remain open-minded as leaders of innovative practices. That while we all are in this together, not everyone has experienced the same thing. Academic teachings will be hugely unsuccessful if we do not manage the social-emotional wellness of our leaders, teachers, and then our youth. We want to search for asset-based content, relevant PBIS/restorative practices, equity-based dialogues, and SEL that is filled with integrity at every age and includes everyone. We hope that this is a priority for all of us. For us, it is the most important thing.
(PS- we created a FREE SEL Guide called The kid-grit Pandemic Crisis Guide, 5-10 hours of interactive activities directly relating to COVID-19. Please feel free to share www.kid-grit.com)