Academy for Social-Emotional Learning in Schools

Positive Relationships



Building Better Relationships With Parents at the Classroom, School, and District Level

Summary:  This article attests to the importance of partnering with parents, especially during remote learning, to help ensure student participation and success.  The author suggests several ways to improve relationships between the school and the home and lists a number of resources that could be helpful in building these relationships.

Source: Heather Wolpert-Gawron,  Edutopia, November 20, 2020



6 Exercises to Get to Know Your Students Better—and Increase Their Engagement

Summary:  This article underscores the importance of knowing more about your students even when faced with distance learning during the pandemic.  Strategies and classroom practices are shared from around the country including a very successful “Laws of Life” project which gave students the opportunity to tell their story through writing, music, art, and other forms of expression.  Similar examples are also shared.

Source: Nora Fleming, Edutopia, November 12, 2020



Relationships, Equity Remain Essential for Curriculum to Connect in Remote Learning

Summary:  This article underscores the importance of maintaining relationships and promoting equity as school leaders cope with the challenges of the pandemic.  Remote learning has presented challenges to the equity issue on many fronts including access to technology and other socio-economic issues but also to the point of racial inequalities and culturally-responsive teaching.  On the other hand, in many places, educators have shown creative ways to maintain these connections and serve their school communities in a period of remote learning.

Source:  Roger Riddell, Education DIVE, October 28, 2020



School Districts’ Most Pressing Social-Emotional Learning Needs

Summary:  This Ed Week Market Brief presents the results of a national survey of 700 educational leaders as what they feel are the most important SEL needs during the pandemic.  The most pressing need was how to how create or maintain an positive learning environment while social distancing is in place.  Other concerns were student and teacher safety, student engagement during remote learning, and mental health.

Source:  Sean Cavanaugh, Ed Week, October 26, 2020



4 Powerful Ways to Engage Students This School Year

Summary:  This article focuses on the teacher as the main resource in building student engagement.  The authors suggest ways to build student engagement amid the pandemic crisis.  These include: be funny smile and laugh; create experiences, not activities; be visibly invisible (it’s about them); and treat every lesson as if you only get one chance.

Source:  Dr. Nathan lang Raad and Herbie Raad, Education Week, October 11, 2020



The Essential Traits of a Positive School Climate

Summary:  This article, aimed at school principals, names four essential characteristics of a positive school climate.  These are strong relationships, academic expectations coupled with strong supports, consistent expectations for behavior, and collection of feedback and adjustments.  

Source:  Arianna Prothero, Education Week, October 13, 2020



Teaching Social-Emotional Skills Amid COVID-19

Summary:  This article is part of a series published in Education Week called “How We Go Back to School.”  This particular article addresses the need for good social-emotional skills in dealing with the challenges of schooling during the current pandemic.  This article focuses on connecting students with caring adults, practicing emotional intelligence, and dealing with sources of trauma and stress.  In each section, there are links to additional articles and resources.

Source:  Arianna Prothero and Sarah D. Sparks, Education Week, September 2, 2020



The Essential Teacher Trait That Has Emerged in the Pandemic

Summary:  This article underscores the importance of the teacher-student connection and empathy as means to work through the challenges of the COVID-19 epidemic.  These traits, as well as other social-emotional skills and competencies, have helped teachers and students alike overcome some of the challenges presented by online learning.  

Source:  Elizabeth Heubeck, Ed Week – TopSchoolJobs, July 28, 2020



How to Create Community in a Virtual Classroom

Summary:  This article provides some suggestions as to how to build community while learning remotely.  Some of the same activities that would be used in face-to-face learning can also be adapted to online learning.  Some examples include using cyber icebreakers, creating classroom rules and procedures, creating class traditions, doing collaborative projects, and  maintaining individual relationships.

Source:  Susan Yergler, Edutopia, August 17, 2020



The Science of Keeping Kids Engaged—Even From Home

Summary:  This article talks about student engagement in online learning and the importance of the science of motivation.  The authors focus on creating a sense of belonging, connecting work to purpose and relevance, and hard work, failure, and mindset.

Source:  Ian Kelleher and Chris Hulleman, Edutopia, August 21, 2020