The havoc that the current public health crisis and continuous reliance on online classes wreaked on students and educators’ well-being has highlighted the importance of social and emotional learning or SEL.
SEL is a methodology that helps students to better comprehend their emotions and demonstrate empathy for others.
Amy Eva, the associate education director of the Greater Good Science Center, which provides resources for the well-being of educators and their students, understands the importance of mental health for all concerned.
“It is difficult to imagine how we will navigate so many unknowns across this year,” Eva said. “With this lack of control comes the need for flexibility and the opportunity to do school differently than we have before.”
To help educators support their students, the Benilde Well-Being Center in Manila shares the following tips:
Focus on your well-being
Start by supporting each other. Don’t expect to impact students’ social, emotional, and mental health if you’re not willing to engage on your own.
Make meaningful connections
Establish clear support systems among the staff. Share fears and struggles with others to lessen the psychological impact of the pandemic.
Prioritize mental health
Online learning may aggravate social vulnerabilities of the students and their families. There is a significant increase in anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorders amid the pandemic. Pay attention and listen to the grievances of students.
Employ compassion-based practices to manage the stress and anxiety of students. Stay in touch with them. Identify their needs. Facilitate regular consultations with their families. Infuse the curriculum with exercises to explore their strengths and sense of purpose.
A sense of community may lessen stress and lead to greater academic success. Unknowns are always there, but reconnecting makes one feel together with the class and staff in general.
Engage in discussions
Create check-in circles. Initiate your students to practice a moment of reflection. It is important for everyone in the class to feel seen.