Teachers have always juggled the responsibility of teaching traditional educational skills, along with the social skills that support students’ mental and emotional health. In recent years, this has become more of a struggle as teachers navigate increasing academic expectations, leaving less time for anything else. However, there are easy ways to reintroduce social-emotional learning curriculum into the classroom that doesn’t require a heavy lift from overwhelmed teachers.
A Focus on a Daily Greeting
Connection is an effective way to build relationships and trust. Taking time to simply start the day with a morning greeting can allow each student to be feel seen and valued. Give them the choice of a high five, fist bump, salute or heart hands as you welcome them into the classroom.
Take Time for Art
Balance artistic creativity with self-expression by guiding kids to create a self-collage about how they see themselves, their family or their friends. Students can partner with a classmate to collaborate on an art project. This encourages them to ask each other questions and represent their partner’s answers artistically. They will learn new things about their classmates while participating in stress-reducing activities, such as drawing or painting.
Share in the Responsibilities
The school day is busy with many lesson plans and activities throughout the day. When students share in responsibilities to help keep the classroom moving, it helps the teachers and also helps students build a sense of self-worth. Understanding that they have a role within the classroom community leads them to feel valued and accomplished throughout the school day.
These activities can help you support social-emotional learning in the classroom.