Business as usual in the United States has come to a screeching halt, leaving many wondering if and when things will go back to normal. While resource-strapped hospitals are kicking their operations into high gear to test, treat, and house newly infected patients, one of our essential institutions has closed: our schools.
Learning has shifted from the school to the home, and many teachers and parents are scrambling to figure out how to best meet children’s social, emotional, and academic needs. This is easier said than done given that we are in the midst of practicing social distancing for an undetermined amount of time.
With all of this uncertainty and isolation, we can easily become bored, anxious, lonely, and even depressed. Adults and children alike are experiencing a certain level of trauma, except that children have even less control over their circumstances. They are missing out on highly anticipated events like socializing with friends, engaging in sports activities, going to prom, and even attending high school graduation. In addition, they are being asked to learn remotely with varying levels of support from teachers and parents who are learning to navigate these challenges as we go. While the task seems daunting, there are many things that teachers and parents can do to support the social, emotional, and academic well-being of kids during this difficult time.
How can parents and educators foster an environment of social and emotional learning despite the fact that students can’t interact with their teachers or each other face to face? This can be done by creating opportunities for students to engage in the following activities or reinforce the following behaviors, which are aligned with the Collaborative for Academic Social Emotional Learning’s (CASEL) five core competencies.
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