“There is one curriculum subject that tends to trigger a fight, flight, or freeze response like no other and that is math. This subject can cause sweaty palms, racing pulses, and inspire genuine fear and anxiety,” says primary school teacher John Dabell. But that’s not the end of the story. He adds: “It can also excite, entertain and energize in the right hands!”
Opportunities to learn and practice social emotional skills in a variety of settings- including at home- help young people develop SEL mastery. Like other forms of learning, SEL success is enhanced by strong school-home partnerships. In fact, positive SEL outcomes are most likely to occur when social-emotional skill sets have wrap-around value (that is, they’re mutually supported and communicated at home, at school, and in the community).
Just weeks after the start of the 2020-2021 school year, Amy Neilson made the agonizing decision to pull her 5-year-old son with special needs out of his distance learning Kinder class. After experiencing a series of regressions in her son’s behavior and well-being, Neilson consulted with friends, family, and school staff before reaching a decision to withdraw her son from school. The toll had just been too much.
“Gone are the days of the old adage that children should be seen and not heard.” That’s according to Kristen Thorson and Erin Gohl, writing for Getting Smart. ”In order to prepare our kids to be productive members of society, we must teach them that their thoughts and opinions matter and should be constructively shared with those around them.”
In the last ten years, we’ve seen Social Emotional Learning (SEL) progress from an abstract concept in education to a central talking point within virtually every U.S. school. School-based SEL initiatives facilitate the explicit discovery, understanding, and self-management of emotions- and offer opportunities to practice these skills through goal-setting, choice-making, and constructive interaction. Research links Social-Emotional literacy to improved student behaviors, enhanced cognitive functioning, and academic gain. The bottom line: SEL-proficient students are better learners.
"Computing isn't about computers,” remarks Paul Curzon, one of CS4FN’s authors. Computer science, or CS, “is about people, solving puzzles, creativity, changing the future and, most of all, having fun.” As educators, that’s what we’re aiming for, isn’t it? Learning and fun.
“If remote teaching perplexes teachers, imagine what remote learning is like for ELs or newcomers”, write Margarita Calderón and Lisa Tartaglia for ASCD InService. If you’ve been busy supporting your emergent bilinguals and multilinguals this year, you’re likely living this challenge yourself.
Student choice, combined with agency, results in learning. This is the summation of a 2016 report from the Buck Institute of Education. And the organization isn’t alone in its findings- studies from the 1970s to the present demonstrate that student choice has been linked to increased motivation, performance, comprehension, collaborative skills development, and socio-emotional well-being.
In December 2020, nearly $54 billion of additional stimulus funding was made available from the U.S. Department of Education to support schools in a variety of ways. From Covid safety, to digital connectivity, to learning loss, districts across the country have significant flexibility in how the majority of these funds can be used.