This Edutopia article showcases how one school has made academic gains by increasing their attention to the social and emotional needs of their students.
“I want to find out what their interests are, and that kind of opens the door. Then that moves to, ‘What challenges are you currently facing?’” Ewald said. “We are developing trust and loyalty, and then students are no longer a piece of data, but a real human being.”
I work in a high school and I think the social and emotional needs of our students are paramount to creating an environment where kids are successful academically and in other areas as well.
How many kids walk into their school on a daily basis and blend in and rarely have a meaningful conversation with an adult in the building? How many would love to be seen and known by the adults who are with them the most? How many would love to have their voice heard and honored by teachers, principals and other school staff? How many of them never get that recognition and celebration of who they are?
“Two big reasons students leave school are that they have no meaningful connection to an adult in the building, and no one knows their name or how to pronounce it,” said Trish Shaffer, the district’s SEL coordinator. “This SEL work isn’t just feel-good: We know through research that relationships and connections keep kids in school.”
Schools are supposed to be for ALL kids. Is your school? Is your classroom? Are you?