May S.E.L.F. Newsletter

Your Monthly Toolbox for Social & Emotional Learning

Finding opportunities to integrate creative expression throughout the school day is a priority in the development of the whole child. Now more than ever, our students need outlets for creativity and flexibility in how we engage them in their learning. Social and Emotional Learning is the on-ramp to engaging in relevant, meaningful interactions with academic content. By connecting with our students in ways that engage their brains and their hearts, we can work to create an experience that is connected and supportive, no matter how far apart we are physically. This month's SELF Newsletter is focused on ways to embrace creativity in our new learning environments to support our students, their families, and ourselves.

Creativity in Quarantine

It takes journalists months of intense training to shift publishing platforms. It takes most of us weeks to find our way around our phones when they auto update and move stuff around. Even Facebook is trying to get us to try “the new Facebook.” That “not now” button got a sharp click from me.

What teachers are doing now isn’t just navigating new technology. They’re changing nearly everything about how they work.

I come from a family of teachers, and they regularly adjust to the whims of politicians and school boards and crazy testing demands. (Not to mention how they deftly deal with parents.)

Right now, though, teachers are working from their own homes and with their own children, for kids in families with resources and without. They’re doing it with overloaded systems, slow Wi-Fi and glitchy technology. But I see them finding new ways to share, teach and fulfill their mission. They might be frustrated, scared or exhausted, but unlike a lot of us, they aren’t showing it.

Now, every weekday, my 9-year-old goes to school at home, perched in her white, fuzzy chair. She still cries frequently. I do, too. Almost nothing in her life is like what it was just a few weeks ago, except she has Mom and Dad, her big brother and her teachers.

Every day from my home office down the hall, I hear their voices over her iPad, and it’s a thread of normalcy in the strangest of times.

She knows our teachers work hard and don’t make nearly enough, but she can’t begin to understand just how much they’re doing. We can, though.

If you know a teacher, thank them.

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"Look how much you have already managed to adapt to. Look how resilient you've already been. There's no "right" way to respond to this because it has never, ever happened before. Give yourself some credit. There's no one in the whole world who has this figured out yet. So it's absolutely okay if you don't either.
― mellow doodles

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