A Covid Education: How To Improve Kids’ Confidence & Well-Being After Pandemic

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Carl Mckenzie
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90% of primary and secondary school educators concur that encouraging SEL boosts pupils’ academic performance. And the statistics bear that out. You can give the kids under your care a leg up in life! Hope Rising has updated its ‘My Best Me’ SEL curriculum with lesson plans that help them confront and combat the anxieties triggered by the pandemic – an unease that was exacerbated by periodic school closings, bouts of isolation, and changes in the patterns of family life. Nearly 80% of school districts earlier this year reported an increase in staff worries about schoolchildren displaying symptoms of mood disorders such as anxiety and trauma.

You can learn more at https://hoperisingsel.com

The non-profit education organization’s revised social-emotional learning curriculum is founded on evidence-based principles that help to ground students in the realities of everyday life – while offering them a proactive way to overcome challenges, improve their relationships with others, and bolster their academic performance. The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) claims that approximately one-third of school districts nationwide have used – or plan to use – government pandemic funding for SEL programs. This reflects an acknowledgment of SEL’s proven effectiveness – despite many leaders’ reluctance to embrace and integrate ‘soft skills’ into the school curriculum. While these skills support academic learning, they can’t be measured on a test, and so are commonly misconstrued – traits like grit or self-reliance can be elusive and impossible to quantify.

You can purchase the curriculum at https://hoperisingsel.com/purchase

As an organization, Hope Rising is keenly aware of the blurry line between wellness/social therapy and SEL in some people’s minds. However, the ‘My Best Me’ lesson plans specifically focus on the ways schoolchildren can solve problems, set and achieve goals, and build their resilience. Hope Rising believes that helping them to do this from a young age in a safe, supportive environment will pay dividends for them later in life. Moreover, the ‘My Best Me’ curriculum pairs this approach with a philosophy of hope – instilling confidence in all children that they can help bring about a better tomorrow, for themselves and their community.

You can view a sample lesson at https://info.hoperisingsel.com/social-emotional-learning-sample

The ‘My Best Me’ curriculum is comprised of workbooks, both hardcopy and digital, that contain 30 lessons. The lessons are age and grade-appropriate and are usually taught in 45-60 minute chunks, once per week. Each grade, PreK through 8th grade, has individual books, while there are two books for high school. A private Facebook page offers additional training and the chance to collaborate/share tips with other educators. It’s taken a while for teachers and – especially – administrators to appreciate that there’s nothing ‘soft’ about so-called ‘soft skills.’

SEL provides the toolkit we may all wish teachers had used when we were kids!

Go to https://hoperisingsel.com/the-case-for-sel and see what ‘My Best Me’ can do for your school and community today.