Updated: May 7
The conclusion from the past few months is that next school year educators need to weave social emotional learning into lessons whether in-class or in distance learning. Children and youth struggled with anxiety and uncertainty during the pandemic. Things might be better next year. Yet uncertainty is characteristic to the 21st century. Helping students deal with it now will pave their paths in their personal and professional futures.
So how do teachers weave social-emotional learning into lessons without a complete change of curriculum?
Here's an illustration by the 5 E's:
Explore - When the teacher introduces today's subject he/she also describes the social-emotional skill that is connected, pinpointing how it could help children. The bonus is that learning material becomes relevant, motivating to study.
Experience - The teacher converses with his/her young audience. Students share how something that happened to them was connected. Together, educator and children or youth, build a treasure trove of life experiences based on which they will know how to conduct. If privacy is important, learners are invited to write about a life experience anonymously. What does today's learning remind them of?
Examine - The teacher prepares a list of tasks in advance. He/she weaves it with the insights, stories and ideas the kids draw on.
Elevate - The teacher recommends how to develop original educational products based on the tasks.
Express - Students present their products. When all are done, the teacher asks the class to debrief - simply tell what they learned, what was presented. The he/she asks: What can we learn from that (connecting to the social-emotional skill presented at first)? The circle of of meaningful learning is completed.
Find stimulating teacher training and creative online teaching tools to become such an educator! It will bring you pleasure with a scientific-artistic approach, equip you with a simple method, and make you feel you respond better to students' needs.
I know this kind of teaching takes efforts.
Yet it is very rewarding.
It makes us feel we can leverage uncertainty, and proudly help students cope and study toward success.
Please like and share this article. Share a story in the comments about how such teaching has benefited your students. Serve as inspiration for others.