More than the Content of the Classroom: Social Emotional Learning and Communication with Guardians
The recent school years have been emotionally draining with health stressors, social-political tension, and strained remote learning situations. How are you and other teachers working with and guiding students on dealing with the emotional weight? Many methods are used to meet the ‘whole child’ in the classroom; Social Emotional Learning (SEL) can be one.
Learning as a Whole
The culture students are bringing to our classrooms is fostered and built by the families and communities around them at home. The Journal of Teacher Education for Sustainability confirms that “students do not learn alone, but mainly in a collaborative way with teachers, in contacts/discussions with peers and with the encouragement of their families.”
“Since social and emotional factors affect the form and time of learning, schools must concentrate on these features to benefit all students.” Emotional literacy builds empathy and equity among students. If a student can identify and voice their emotions, they are more likely to ask for accommodations to effectively learn and connect with the content.
SEL is More Relevant than Ever
As our students transition back into the traditional classroom setting they are experiencing a cultural shift. The expectations of your classroom are different from those in the home over the summer and the remote learning of last year.
The learning environment they engaged with over the past school years was varied, remote, and often at home. As at-home learning was being shaped, guardians and home support systems played a role in education. Your communication with a student’s home can build more trust. This bond can build through what is done in the classroom.
By inviting guardians to connect with your team you can share information about SEL programming, specific skills that are being worked on, and practical tips on how to extend students’ social-emotional development into the home. Reaching out to communicate the classroom programming, positives, and successes builds a communication pathway for a guardian to feel comfortable reaching out at any time.
Building SEL through Communication
Casel, a leading champion of SEL, provides an expert voice as to why SEL can be important. Inside the classroom, “every student—across race, ethnicity, family income levels, learning abilities, home language, immigration status, gender identity, sexual orientation, and other factors” should have the opportunity to engage in high-quality lessons and “environments that best promote their healthy social, emotional, and academic development.” In order to reach the full potential of SEL programs, teachers need to curate a space for guardians and support systems to build and construct SEL together throughout the establishment and implementation.
Two-way communication between home and school plays a role in furthering the SEL programming laid out by teachers and administrators. One of the easiest ways to facilitate two-way communication on this level is through family engagement platforms. These applications provide digital messaging, direct contact, and immediate connections to be made.
While helpful, not every engagement platform is created equally. Snap! Connect allows teachers and administrators to connect with guardians in a streamlined app; eliminating the frustration of missed SMS texts, unanswered robocalling, and lost paper notices at the bottom of book bags. Additionally, the two-way translation between over 100 languages and text-to-speech/dictation capabilities ensures that all guardians have equitable access to the SEL content.
Snap! Connect is a communication hub that connects everyone in the school district — administrators, teachers, guardians, and students. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you meet your communication goals.