Educators are turning yoga into a vehicle for school and community change

After a tumultuous few years teaching during a pandemic, some educators are embarking on a unique approach to social and emotional learning (SEL) training this summer: They’re pursuing a virtual wellness, SEL, and yoga training course.

Graduates of Breathe For Change’s 200-hour program will be certified to teach inclusive yoga classes to both adults and young people and lead SEL and wellness experiences in their schools, districts, and organizations.

“Our whole approach is a community-wide wellness approach–the home-school connection matters deeply,” said Dr. Ilana Nankin, Breathe For Change’s founder and CEO.…Read More

How to address mental health needs in youth sports

Numerous studies have shown the lifelong importance of exercise and playing sports for young children.  Physically active children are often happier children. Children involved in team sports develop lifelong friendships and develop a work ethic that stays with them through adulthood. But sometimes, the pressures of performing can have negative impacts on children.

Challenges arise when sports become a source of anxiety for children. Ideally, sports provide a fun activity for children to move their bodies and release some stress. They also offer a safe space for children where they are supported by coaches who are trusted adults they can lean on for advice and guidance if they are experiencing mental health issues.

In the past few years, we’ve seen a few examples of youth who have reached out to coaches when they struggled with mental health issues. And, unfortunately, we’ve seen tragic examples of youth who were unable to access the support they needed.…Read More

Ripple Effects Offers Access to Its Educator Ally Program to Support Teachers’ Social Emotional Needs

SEATTLE – May 26, 2022 – As the COVID-19 pandemic unfolded, educators found themselves in unfamiliar territory as they dealt with new technology and concerns over in-person learning while also caring for their own children. These anxieties served to heighten an already stressful profession. According to the 2021 State of the U.S. Teacher Survey conducted by The RAND Corporation, teachers were almost three times more likely to report symptoms of depression than adults in other professions. Additional independent research indicates that 54 percent feel unprepared or very unprepared to respond to students’ behavior problems.

To give educators much-needed support in the classroom, social emotional learning pioneer Ripple Effects, today announced that through June 30, 2022, it is offering complimentary access to its staff professional development wellness program, Educator Ally. This solution equips educators with the tools they need to address their own stressors as well as students emotional and behavior problems more effectively.

“When educators have the proper tools, their stress levels decrease,” said Heidi Johnecheck, chief impact officer for Ripple Effects. “As they continue to deal with the effects of the global COVID-19 pandemic, it is more crucial than ever to give educators the infrastructure they need to help build their classroom management skills and manage student behaviors in a personalized, supportive and non-judgmental manner. We want to extend as much help as possible to educators and we hope that using Educator Ally will give them the vital tools they need to be their best in the classroom.”  …Read More

We need support and empathy to prevent teacher burnout

COVID-19 has had an unprecedented impact on the world. Its impact on the educational profession, though, is unique. Every educator has an impact on children–the future adults. In a time of fear and uncertainty, our students turn to us; we are the moms, dads, and guardians away from home. We spend several hours a day with our students. Parents entrust us with the most precious things in their world–their children. This is a humbling fact.

Teachers are not robots–they, too, are human beings with feelings, fears, insecurities and lives. A teacher’s day is beyond classroom hours, and at the same time, teachers have to take care of themselves. When teachers don’t do this, they experience teacher burnout.

A nationally representative survey of teachers by RAND Education and Labor in late January and early February 2021 found that educators were feeling depressed and burned out from their jobs at higher rates than the general population. In the survey, one in four teachers–particularly Black teachers–reported that they were considering leaving their jobs at the end of the school year. Only one in six said the same before the pandemic. So, what can be done?…Read More

Discovery Education Supports Social-Emotional Learning Day with High Quality Resources for Educators, Students, and Families

Silver Spring, MD (Friday March 11, 2022) — Discovery Education and leading social impact partners are offering engaging, high quality digital learning resources to students, teachers, and families to support Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) Day nationwide. Established in 2019 by SEL4US and the Urban Assembly, SEL Day empowers communities to celebrate the importance of social-emotional learning. Discovery Education is the worldwide EdTech leader whose state-of-the-art digital platform supports learning wherever it takes place.  

SEL is often described as the process through which children and adults understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions. Research reveals that SEL programs provide students the ability to manage stress and depression, improves self-esteem and school behavior.  

Observed this year on March 11th with theme “Finding Common Ground, Pursuing Common Good.” SEL Day helps connect students, educators, and families to resources learn about and integration social emotional wellness into all aspects of life. In support of this theme, Discovery Education is providing educators and students access to hundreds of digital resources tailored for any learning environment through its dynamic K-12 learning platform. Among the resources created in collaboration with leading social impact partners are: …Read More

Use SEL Day to establish year-round SEL strategies

Social and emotional skills are vital in both school, and the workplace. They can help children and adults build and maintain healthy relationships, develop a strong sense of self, manage stress, control their emotions, and more.

CASEL™ has defined five competence areas that lead to social and emotional success for children and adults. Those competence areas are Self-Awareness, Self-Management, Social Awareness, Relationship Skills, and Responsible Decision-Making. But many believe there are three additional areas: Optimistic Thinking, Goal-Directed Behavior and Personal Responsibility.

March 11 marks International SEL Day, a day focused on raising awareness of the importance of social and emotional learning (SEL). There are many ways for teachers to incorporate practical strategies into their everyday lessons — on SEL Day and beyond — to help students practice and strengthen their SEL skills. Here are a few that teachers can use with their students on SEL Day, and all year round.…Read More

Happy habits: SEL matters more than ever

“My hope is these extra couple of days will allow everyone to take a little extra time for themselves and their families. Family is, after all, much of what Thanksgiving is all about.”

–Dr. Kelvin R. Adams, Superintendent of Schools, St. Louis Public Schools

Like St. Louis, school districts across the country opted to add an additional partial or entire week off during the holiday season/winter break to allow the students and adults to find time for and take care of themselves.…Read More

5 principles for an equitable SEL initiative

According to a recent report, fewer than one in four teachers say social-emotional learning (SEL) is implemented in their school on a programmatic, schoolwide basis.

More than two decades of research proves that SEL yields positive results for students, adults, and school communities. The pandemic and its impact on education emphasizes the need for curated, vetted SEL resources that educators can use to support the whole child–regardless of the learning environment.

Initiatives like the Social-Emotional Learning Coalition–which is created in partnership between Discovery Education, The Allstate Foundation, The National Afterschool Association, and Responsibility.org–are working to address the needs of students and educators by improving access to resources that support the integration of SEL into core instruction. To achieve this, the Coalition follows five guiding principles, which schools and district leaders can also follow to create an SEL framework that’s both equitable and impactful. Those principles are:…Read More

10 SEL activities to help students with stress management

As an educator, you are in a unique position to provide stability and care to your students and their families. One of the best ways you can support students during these uncertain times is by teaching them effective stress management strategies.

Just like adults, unmanaged stress in students can lead to anxiety, depression, irritability, poor concentration, aggression, physical illness, fatigue, and sleep disturbance. It can also increase tobacco, drug, and/or alcohol use.

Here are 10 activities to help your students learn effective stress management.…Read More

Addressing trauma as students return to the classroom

We’ve all been through a traumatic experience in the last year. In a typical year, school is the only safe place for many students, and it is often the place where abuse or other trauma is recognized and help provided. But during remote learning, those children suddenly had no safe place to go and no adults to recognize the danger they were in and offer a lifeline.

As children return to school this fall, here’s how educators can spot those who may need mental health support, and a few suggestions for offering help.

Adverse childhood experiences…Read More