Due to the closing of school for the remainder of the school year, we will be required to continue with distance learning. COVID-19 has forced all of us to work in a different way and has pushed us to be innovative in how we educate and engage with our students. Distance learning is definitely not the ideal way to teach our students, but let’s commit to do our best to create great minutes and moments with them for the rest of the school year.
Especially during this time when many are feeling isolated (adults & students), we must be intentional and mindful in how we interact with students and focus on relationships, which is why social-emotional learning (SEL) is so important.
Here are a few ways you can incorporate SEL or enhance what you’re already doing with SEL with your students.
Having a check-in where students can express how they are feeling is great, but a response to their check in is important. In addition to asking students how they are doing, ask students “Do you need anything?” and of course follow up is key.
In addition, another way to enhance a check-in is by including the following 3 components:
- ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: let student know they were heard and that their feeling is okay
- AFFIRMATION: inform student that they will get through their feelings and this time
- VALIDATION: assure student that others feel similar and that their feelings are normal
QUESTION OF THE DAY
Starting or closing a Webex meeting with a light-hearted question increases a sense of safety, belonging and connection, which everyone is craving even more these days. Here is a list of some joyful conversation starters you can use.
Another way to start a class is with a GO! Moment. Students can share on a Webex or they could be asked to write their response in a journal or google form. GO stands for GRATITUDE & OPTIMISM. Students are to share one thing they are grateful for today or yesterday and what they are looking forward to. Being intentional in having gratitude and being optimistic can help to build a sense of hope and can instill a sense of control for students.
We are in distance learning for the long haul and we don’t know when we will return to school. Let’s be sure to take care of our students and also each other. Maybe this time will strengthen our relationships with one another too… how about including some of these ideas in your department and team meetings to create wonderful minutes and moments with one another.