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September 15, 2020

3 Meaningful SEL Check-Ins for Students and Ourselves

As we move through back-to-school mode, it’s mission critical that we remember to check in with our student and with ourselves. Here are three ways we can have meaningful Social Emotional Learning (SEL) check-ins during class time and beyond, without losing sight of our academic goals.

Step Into A New Worldview

Start your next lesson with a learning journey to another part of the world. Learn about a person you may have otherwise never met, and flex your empathy muscles as a group. As we’re spending more of our time in a socially distanced way, this can be a great step toward connecting with new worlds and perspectives meaningfully.

Mindfulness Reminder: It’s easy to slip into the dangers of a single story about a person, culture, race, or place in our world. Check out this unit to reflect on ways we can ensure we’re encouraging and embracing an inclusive learning environment.

Bridge A New Empathy Gap

As you and your students take a step into the life of a new friend somewhere in the world, try out this lesson to help Bridge The Empathy Gap between everyone in your class, too. This kind of lesson can help our students, and ourselves, in our effort to become more understanding, aware, and compassionate.

Mindfulness Reminder: Exploring the stories and experiences of one another can lead to some tough and incredibly important conversations. This resource may be helpful in exploring how to have these complex conversations with courage, compassion, and curiosity.

Write About Your Own Learning Journeys Together

Looking for a way to engage in some creative writing, during both synchronous learning time and beyond? Free writing can be a great way for students to share feelings and check in, while getting some meaningful writing practice in too! 

Writing Your Own Learning Journeys can be a great way to kick off a meeting, or to open or close an upcoming literacy unit. Writing about our own perspectives, experiences, and feelings can be a powerful way to build understanding together, both about others  and ourselves.

Mindfulness Reminder: Don’t force this. Some students may not feel comfortable sharing some of their experiences with you or with others in the group. That’s okay. Before engaging in this activity or others in this post, reflect (maybe with a colleague or few over a virtual tea) on how you might approach suggesting this kind of writing activity in a mindful, understanding way. 

SEL Is For Adults, Too! 

As we find new ways to meaningfully engage with our students, let’s remember that these kinds of SEL check-ins are so important for adults too. Try out some of these lesson ideas with your colleagues – and your family – to keep prioritizing your own social emotional learning journey in our ever-evolving world. 

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