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Articles about Social and Emotional Learning (SEL), Mindfulness in the Classroom and Trauma Informed Teaching

Counting Heartbeats for Better Emotional Management

Research has shown that those who are able to analyze, reflect, and pay attention to their internal body states, such as their heart rate, have a stronger sense of emotional awareness thus are better able to regulate their emotions and respond appropriately to situations that arise. This month, we offer a ready-to-go lesson plan helping students build skills to understand what is going on in their bodies while building social and emotional skills along the way.

The Neuroscience of Mindfulness

As mindfulness and mindfulness-based interventions become more popular in schools, it is important to investigate what benefits mindfulness has on youth and their development through the field of neuroscience. Through the research and literature collected, it is clear that mindfulness generates stillness, moment-to-moment awareness, and calm centered breathing can all work together to decrease anxiety, blood pressure, depression while increasing immunity, compassion, empathy, and non-reactivity (Wells, 2015). This month, we dig into how mindfulness has been found to impact brain development.

Why SEL Matters

With an increase in SEL in schools around the world, it is important to know the benefits and impact SEL can play on students’ development inside and outside of the classroom. This month we dig into the research behind social and emotional learning and look into the benefits of implementing consistent SEL in schools.

Five SEL Books for Teachers to Read This Summer

While students might get some informal SEL education at home, they will probably only encounter direct lessons on SEL in the classroom. So if you’re doing some professional reading this summer, deepening your knowledge of SEL and mindfulness is a great way to go. This month, Emmi Scott introduces five SEL books for teachers to read this summer.

Self-Care For Teachers

You became a teacher because you want to make a difference; because you love children; because you enjoy seeing the expression on a child’s face when he or she finally understands a new concept. It is that passion that makes you a great teacher—the same passion that can also lead to burn-out.

SEL Post Spring Break Motivation

Spring break is a great time for students and teachers alike to take some downtime away from school. However, coming back to school after an amazing week off can present challenges in the classroom. With the end of the school year in sight for many teachers coming back from spring break, we put together a list of ways to keep both your students and yourself motivated to finish the school year on a high note.

Notes From The Field – Mindful Body 3rd Grade Lesson

Students are able to share different instances when they felt emotions in their body. One student explains he is feeling the excitement in his fingers and hands because he has a football game later that day, another boy shares his mind feels yellow with joy, and a girl in the front shares her stomach hurts because she is feeling sad today. Ms. Larson acknowledges and supports each emotion expressed by her student and explains her own personal feelings, that she too has felt sad, excited, and happy all even in one day. 

Defining Your Purpose – Social & Emotional Learning Lesson Highlight

“Lack of meaning,” as described by psychologists Faramarzi & Bavali in a 2017 study  “is the chief source of stress as well as anxiety, and logotherapy aids the patients to reach the meaning of life.”…Yet, when I ask people directly “What is your purpose in life?” there are very few who can answer the question clearly, or even at all. How different might our world look if we taught children from a young age how to discover, explore, and pursue their purpose?

A Mindful Approach to New Year’s Resolutions

If mindfulness is based on present moment awareness and goal setting is based on future hopes and plans, can the two even co-exist? Striking this combination of staying focused on the present while aiming towards our future desires can be a powerful duo when paired skillfully. This article is intended to support you and your students in bringing more mindful awareness to your process of setting goals – and hopefully more joy and less stress as a result! 

Tips for the Trauma Informed Educator: Stress & Trauma as Resilience Factors

Being a trauma-informed educator does not mean that we need to protect our students from all possible stressors and difficult experiences, rather, it means we have a deeper understanding of our students’ emotional states and we work to empower them to respond effectively to challenges and stressors….If we as parents and educators remove all stress from a child’s life we are robbing them of their richest opportunities for growth.