It seems the term Social Emotional Learning or SEL is everywhere these days. For many educators, this is met with a collective sigh of relief. At long last, we are talking about more than just academics and standardized testing when it comes to providing students with a quality education. To others, however, the buzz about SEL may be cause for concern. Is SEL merely a trend? Is it just the flavor of the month that will soon fade away only to be replaced by the next big idea in education?
There is a lot of research available about attributes that positively affect student achievement. Most of the research is centered on educational practices and what works best with our students. But I dare say, students will thrive in an environment that’s positive and uplifting where they feel safe to take risks and voice their opinion.
The New Year is here, and that means a time for fresh starts and new beginnings. Just because you have done something one way for the entire year so far, doesn’t mean that you can’t change now if it’s not working the way you wanted it to. This is true for instructional practices as well as how you organize your classroom.
During my first years of teaching, one particular evaluation has stuck in my head all of these years. It ended with one word from my principal, “Closure?” It suddenly became glaringly obvious to me that too many of my lessons ended with the bell ringing. Ugh…not exactly best practice to say the least. Since then I’ve tried out lots of ideas and have come up with some “go-to” ideas that I now use to end ANY lesson.
There’s no doubt that many students can become guarded when we ask them to share out ideas in class. The peer pressure and thought of putting ideas out there can be very intimidating for lots of students. So, how do we create a classroom where our students can feel comfortable to engage in the necessary communication skills we’re expected to teach? Here are few ideas to try
What do you do when you see your colleagues in the morning? You probably greet them in some way…maybe with hello or good morning. So, it only makes sense to do the same thing with your students as well. Establishing the routine of greeting every student, every day is a great way to engage with students. It may even become your favorite part of the day!
Here are a few reasons you may want to consider starting every day with hello.