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Students experience transitions every day. Some are as straightforward as moving from recess to instructional time or school to home, while others are more complex, like starting a new school, entering a new grade level, or shifting to fully in-person learning for the first time in more than a year. What makes times of transition challenging? How can we best support our students in navigating change? In this issue, we offer strategies for finding social and emotional growth in times of change.

Articles in this Issue:

Embracing Uncertainties

There is an old joke: “Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.” The events of the past year have proven that change is indeed inevitable. Beginning in March 2020, shelter-in-place orders brought about many changes across the United States—working remotely, virtual learning, social distancing, and being apart from friends and family for months. As…

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Reconnecting: Helping Students Maintain Their Friendships

Over the course of the last year, it’s likely that the nature of students’ friendships has changed. People have smaller social networks than they had before the pandemic, and some friendships have fared better online than others (Ribeiro, 2020). As face-to-face social interactions occurred less frequently or not at all, students may have grown closer…

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Mindfulness: Resetting, After Resetting

Educators and student family members will tell you that children who are stressed will not learn, grow, or play well. When children feel unsafe, when things are unpredictable, and when relationships are not stable or are unclear, the brain and body dedicate their energy and focus to survival and protection. It is not until the…

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Leading the Way

What is something (preferably related to social and emotional learning) you are changing or doing differently in your school this year? Debra Berndt: We will be returning to the practice of holding a school-wide Morning Meeting each month. These may be held in different formats, depending on the requirements for social distancing—virtually, in person as…

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