The key to a well-rounded education: Social and Emotional Wellbeing
Social and emotional wellbeing is vital for our overall physical and mental health. Being socially and emotionally well means being able to gauge your capabilities, cope with the usual stresses of life, and being productive.
When schools focus on bolstering the social and emotional well-being of a child, it has been found that students have fewer disciplinary issues, are able to focus more on school work, and develop skills to communicate better.
With the announcement of a country-wide lockdown by our Prime Minister on March 18, 2020, the nation’s activities came to a sudden halt. With no preparation time to combat the situation, teachers all over the country were struggling to impart lessons using online platforms. Addressing social-emotional needs remotely, seemed to be a distant goal for all.
All these challenges made it necessary to devise a plan to address learning by incorporating a social-emotional component in the education environment and making classrooms happy, inclusive and accessible for all.
The sudden and mandatory adoption of remote learning affected the well-being of teachers and students alike.
We created a Wellness mantras series to empower teachers and students to believe that we as a community have the ability to contribute to each other’s wellbeing.
Check out these Wellbeing Posters that we created
You can see them all here –https://wke.lt/w/s/rVT03g
Reaching out to Elders and Peers
Wellness mantras empowered teachers and students to believe that they have the ability to contribute to each other’s wellbeing by staying motivated. They shared their stories on various aspects of wellness. Their stories included a tiny contribution of calling their grandparents regularly to know their wellbeing, to help their friends stay fit by conducting collective online fitness sessions and learning simple DIYs using online platforms. Teachers shared their stories about how they are helping their peers in e-content development or using the online teaching platform effectively by incorporating the concept of train the trainer.
Inclusion of Social-Emotional-Learning in virtual classrooms resulted in positive behavioural changes amongst students.
Students started understanding how empathetic virtual connects with their peers and loved ones can help to cope with this situation effectively. Students helped each other by discussing the concepts to learn from each other using the TEAMS platform for peer learning. They willingly shared their resources if their peer had missed the class because of any reason beyond his/ her control.
Meeting Diverse Needs
Remote learning is particularly challenging for students with diverse needs. We created a video series of 3 videos to address their learning, as well as, social-emotional needs.
Our first video encompasses resources related to addressing Reading, Writing and Math, Executive Functions and Speech, Language and Communication challenges:
Our second video addressed the Hearing, Mobility and Vision challenges of the students which comprised of various tools needed to accelerate learning amongst students.
Not every disability is visible!!! A variety of tools needed to enhance learning for students with Neurodiversity, Multiply Impaired/Medically Fragile and challenges related to Mental Health were collated in the form of a video :
These videos were shared with the larger community. This helped teachers use free online tools to address students’ needs in a remote learning environment and for parents to help their children learn at home. This also empowered students to access the content and personalise it according to their needs to keep pace with the online classes. More than 1000 views of these videos collectively explain the impact and usefulness of this free resource in online classrooms.
Imparting Life skills through e-content
Considering how Life skills classes were impacted during the pandemic due to the lack of resources for online delivery of these skills, we have recently launched e-content for life skills. This will help teachers address life skills through online classes. This e-content is aligned to the CBSE Life skills syllabus. Teachers had started using this e-content within a day of its release. They found this content quite useful to address why life skills are important in remote learning classrooms. We had more than 150 views of our videos in just 2 days. Within three weeks, we had more than 750 views on our Life Skills videos.
We received phone calls from teachers about how this e-content is proving beneficial in online classrooms. As most schools are closed for summer holidays, this content is given to students to go through. The content is made in the form of comic strips and supports audio, visual and textual learning. We have received positive feedback from children and parents alike for the character of Super Granny.
Addressing Social Justice
To address Social justice, which is a much spoken about topic these days, we created a video to help students understand what it is and how can we address this in classrooms which are on a virtual platform. This is e-content for educators to help students address social justice in their classrooms.
A systemic approach to social and emotional wellbeing cultivates a caring, participatory, and equitable learning environment. These practices actively enable students to progress in their social, emotional, and academic growth. This approach permeates into every part of students’ daily lives—across all of their classrooms, during all times of the school day, and when they are in their homes and communities, thereby making them sensitive to social and emotional wellbeing.
Thinking of a plan for returning to school or adjusting to the new normal?
Here’s a dedicated page to support all educators.
Check out the resources that we, along with Cambridge Assessment International Education, have made available at https://bit.ly/CambridgeReady