Social-Emotional Learning Starts Early in BCSD

Elementary Students Embrace Social-Emotional Learning
Posted on 02/15/2022

Sometimes, our little learners experience big feelings, and they need help coping with them. This school year, school social worker Cristin Plourde has been bringing social-emotional learning lessons to classrooms at MacArthur Elementary, including Mrs. Steed's first grade class. In February, Plourde stopped in to deliver a social emotional learning lesson on "anger rules", and "anger fixers".

All MacArthur students in grades K-5 are actively engaged in Social Emotional Learning (SEL) curriculum, with children in grades K-2 working Plourde, and grades 3-5 working with fellow social worker Griffin McIver. Students in all buildings across the district have access to the Connected and Respected Curriculum for SEL. According to Plourde, the sooner you can get students started on their SEL journeys, the better.

“It is important to explicitly teach social emotional learning, similar to how we teach math or reading, to all students.  Providing students with the skills on making connections with others, expressing their feelings in appropriate ways, and problem solving has become a routine part of their education,” Plourde said. “This focus on all aspects of learning, is the foundation that can be built upon on in middle and high school. We’re helping to build caring, respectful learning environments, where students feel connected to school and have the tools they need to be successful. “

It also helps school social workers get to know students proactively, building a strong foundation of positive relationships that will come in handy when students are struggling.

“Being in classrooms allows us to get to know and build relationships with all students,” Plourde said. “Students are then familiar with us and are more comfortable to reach out for help when needed.  They have a better understanding of our role in the school and how we can help.

This particular lesson centered around yoga, breathing and meditation, with students up out of their seats doing certain poses, stretches and breathing exercises. It's safe to say, everyone was feeling happier and more relaxed by the end. Keep up the great work, kids!

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