Social Emotional Learning
The events of the last two years have and continue to upend our lives in so many visible and invisible ways. We, working in the field of education as in many other professions, find ourselves in the midst of one complex situation after another. However, the responsibility of schools in building strong, engaging, and interconnected systems of social-emotional and academic support remains of paramount importance.
Though the issues in recent times have especially highlighted the importance of connection and community, Cold Spring’s journey from the very beginning has always been about intentionally and thoughtfully building social-emotional learning (SEL) in children and adults. Creating an atmosphere for growth and learning for all who work at the school has always been a priority.
We work on social-emotional learning and development every day in our classrooms. Helping children talk to each other and understand the range of emotions that we all feel, creating space for them to express these feelings, engaging them in conflict resolution, developing classroom charters over many months, and meeting children where they might be on their individual developmental trajectories, all lay the foundation for SEL learning and well being.
We know that SEL learning should be supported and reinforced across multiple settings, including in the developmental context of the home. Developing self awareness, self regulation, empathy, communication, perspective taking, and problem solving skills in children takes time and intentional work by teachers, parents, and caregivers. Here is a great article by Harvard School of Education that outlines practical strategies that teachers and parents/caregivers can use in developing social-emotional skills:
Winter break offers us the time and opportunity to make these connections and have family conversations around questions such as - How do we listen better to each other? What does kindness look like? How can we truly understand the perspective of another person, especially in the face of our own emotions? It is also an opportunity to think about developing social-emotional at-home goals with your child or to discuss the ones that they may be working on at school. It is our job as educators to shape experiences of young children in these formative years, and work in partnership with one another to develop self-aware, resilient, kind children. We value parental support in all learning experiences, but especially in the areas of social-emotional development, and please know that we are always happy to listen and support you on this path with resources and books that might be helpful.
Have a wonderful winter break with your families and we will see you in 2022!
Special Area Classes at Cold Spring:
Want to see more? Learn about Cold Spring's program through our virtual tour.