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January 2021
Two Sides of the Same Coin

Contributing Editor: Ina Pannell-SaintSurin, Special Education Teacher and Responsive Classroom Consulting Teacher

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 name a few. Now, in the year 2021, we are experiencing a global pandemic that is impacting education in a critical way and exposes all of the above issues that one simple solution cannot resolve. The global pandemic encompasses and magnifies all of them.

As we face the new challenges of hybrid and distance learning, we must take this opportunity to promote, embrace, and provide social-emotional learning strategies in our instruction. We need to think even more thought-fully about how to create classrooms and schools where children feel safe, valued, validated, and challenged academically, and can experience the joy of learning.

The contributors in this issue offer strategies and opportunities to expand the ways that we think of fostering social-emotional skills in our school communities during the pandemic. Be prepared to have your thinking pushed outside the box and to reimagine the possibilities to lift up our students, families, and each other with these suggestions and strategies. This is how we will meet with success as we deal with the current critical issues in education. And remember to add some grace, too.

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Read the January 2021 Journal

Past Issues

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
April 2020
Supporting You in Times of Change

COVID-19 has affected all of our lives, and for educators in particular it has been challenging to find ways to maintain a positive classroom community through distance learning and sustain student engagement, all while helping students to recognize and appropriately manage the emotions they may be experiencing.

Read the April 2020 Journal
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