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February 2021
The Power of Cooperation

Contributing Editor: Emily Hemingway, Director of Publications

Perhaps no month is more appropriate to consider cooperation than February 2021: two months into the new year, weeks into a new presidency, and days into Black History Month’s 95th celebration. February offers appreciation for other perspectives and the possibility of new beginnings, all growing from the power of cooperation.

The C.A.R.E.S. Standards define cooperation as the ability to establish new relationships, maintain relationships and friendships, avoid social isolation, resolve conflicts, accept differences, be a contributing member of one’s classroom and community, and work productively and collaboratively with others.

This month we explore cooperation in concrete ways between people and in more abstract ways between cultures, between research and practice, and between standards and instruction. Chip Wood and Janie Cofie each cover the ways that adults in school communities work collaboratively. Maria Paz Galarce Crain and Dr. Patricia Crain de Galarce pair science and self-care to help us understand the impact 2020 had on educators and provide strategies for making 2021 healthier and happier. Angelyn Nichols and Allison Sansone describe what happens when educators collaborate in building their educational community. Dr. Stephanie Jones shares insights from her groundbreaking work in the field of SEL research. Finally, we suggest practical ways to honor Black History Month in February and beyond.

As you read these articles, consider the role cooperation plays in your own life. How can you harness cooperation’s power to connect, learn, and inspire this month?

Read the February 2021 Journal

Past Issues

January 2021
Two Sides of the Same Coin

In graduate school, while studying education, I remember taking a course titled “Critical Issues in Education.” Certainly, education in the United States has historically seen many critical issues—lack of government funding, class sizes too large, No Child Left Behind, inadequate and harmful disciplinary policies, segregation, standardized testing, poverty, safety issues, and the achievement gap, to…

Read the January 2021 Journal
December 2020
Preparing to Meet New Challenges

Contributing Editor: Emily Hemingway, Director of Publications In this digest edition, we look back at lessons learned in 2020 and ahead to the possibilities of 2021. We start by learning more about the 7,000 educators who make up our SEL Professional Association and then take a look at the most popular articles, downloadable items, and…

Read the December 2020 Journal
November 2020
Partnering with Families

Contributing Editor: Michelle Gill, Director of Consulting and Certifications The pace of the world, especially over the last eight months, has left little time to pause and reflect. Doing so now can feel almost selfish: “Who am I to stop just to think, when so much is happening and so many people need me?” But…

Read the November 2020 Journal
October 2020
The Power of Empathy

From altered routines to online instruction, educators have had to navigate profound and unexpected challenges this year. As we continue to adjust while trying to remain present and optimistic, it may prove difficult to know exactly how to show up for students. What can we do to ensure that they are fulfilled, supported, and—most importantly—able to learn? Our answer to this question is straightforward: practice empathy. While empathy can’t stop Zoom from freezing or adapt our lessons to meet this year’s demands, it will remind us that we’re all in this together and that we are all facing similar struggles with personal implications.

Read the October 2020 Journal
September 2020
Social-Emotional Learning and Equity

The year 2020 has forced a spotlight on equity, first with the pandemic and then with cries for social justice. Equity is not the same as equality, which means treating everyone the same and providing the same oppor­tunities and resources. Equity goes beyond that, providing individualized support and addressing the barriers students face based on race, gender, and other factors. Understanding these key differences will allow us to move forward and turn our vision for school communities into reality.

Read the September 2020 Journal
August 2020
Off to a Great Start: Creating a Welcoming Environment

This journal finds us at the beginning of a school year that will be unlike any that have preceded it. Educators will be asked to deal with the constraints and effects of the current health crisis while also addressing the systemic racism that creates inequity in our school communities. These issues underscore how critical social and emotional learning is, yet the constraints of maintaining social distance or learning virtually will make creating connections with and between students harder than ever before.

Read the August 2020 Journal
July 2020
Rejuvenate Reimagine Recalibrate

In this issue of the journal, we have selected pieces that we hope will spark ideas of how we can work together to create a better school experience for every student, every day. By identifying opportunities in the future school structure that will allow students and teachers to continue to grow, we can find ways to construct an optimal learning environment for everyone in our learning community.

Read the July 2020 Journal
June 2020
Building SEL Skills

In this issue, we’ve curated articles aimed at ameliorating the challenges you may be facing right now while also encouraging you to find small moments for grounding and growth. Regardless of the changes you’re navigating, remember that what you are feeling is valid, these circumstances are temporary, and that in the wake of great change and disruption new opportunities can arise.

Read the June 2020 Journal
May 2020
Celebrating SEL Success Stories Around the World

The educator stories in our May issue, collected from around the world, show the importance of social-emotional learning, building and maintaining positive relationships, setting clear expectations, and reinforcing our sense of community in our school environments. Social-emotional learning is the foundation for great teaching and engaged learning, helping to create a community of learners who can carry their sense of significance and belonging with them wherever they go.

Read the May 2020 Journal
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