Helping Teachers Lead Through Crisis: Remote Success with Social Emotional Learning

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The majority of students in the United States are learning from home through online education due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This change is an adjustment for kids and parents from both a technological and emotional standpoint.

How can educators achieve success during such a transition? Dr. Jane Moore, Regional PD Lead and Coordinator for the Department of Social and Emotional Learning for Istation, and Crystal Smith, a third-grade teacher at Chapel Hill Preparatory Academy in the Dallas Independent School District, offered their insights on this extraordinary moment.

With the need to quickly shut educational institutions down and move students to an online environment, Dr. Moore said most schools and students were unprepared to shift to online learning, and adjustments are ongoing. In many cases, students left school without essential online tools they’d need to begin their learn-at-home journeys.

And the learn-at-home platforms are not standardized throughout systems, either. Smith’s own two children each learn on a different online education platform.

“The first couple of weeks were the hardest. Kids’ emotions were all over the place,” Dr. Moore said.

It took a bit to get a routine down where both kids and parents felt comfortable with their day.

Smith pointed out that this is an adjustment for the parents as wells as the kids, and, depending on one’s technical expertise, it may be an equal challenge for the parent to navigate the online teaching platform technology as it is for the child.

During this period of adjustment and stress, educators need to focus on five key competencies of social-emotional learning.

“Those competencies are self-awareness, self-management, responsible decision making, relationship skills, and social awareness,” Dr. Moore said.

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