If the global pandemic and school shutdowns taught us anything, it’s that we may have been taking teacher-student and student-student connections for granted pre-COVID. After all, with most or all students experiencing in-classroom learning, bonds, connections, and relationships are just bound to happen naturally.
Even with students “connecting” virtually during the pandemic, it quickly became clear that we needed to do more to cultivate connections both in the remote setting and–once it was safe–in the classroom. With social emotional learning (SEL) becoming an increasingly important focal point for many districts, it made sense for us to build up this aspect of our educational offering.
5 unexpected wins
For the new school year, we began rolling out an SEL curriculum districtwide with a focus on creating stronger bonds with and between students across all grades. We put a major emphasis on this rollout, with COVID as the primary catalyst for the initiative. We set aside money for one elementary school to pilot 7 Mindsets, and then we brought in several other vendors and used a very formalized process to pick our SEL curriculum.