Educators and students are both experiencing the stressors in the light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has amplified and exacerbated longstanding inequities in education, health care, and the economy. Consequently, students will return with different social-emotional and academic needs depending on their individual experiences during their time away from classrooms. The same can be said for some educators; while they are traversing this, they are in charge of a challenging yet critical task of crafting an empathetic and effective way to meet these needs for their students.
To ease this to some extent, the New Schools Venture Fund recently released a brief on meeting students’ social-emotional and academic needs when schools reopen. The report shares the following four lessons for educators to plan for fall and meet students where they are.
Broadly, the data suggests that prioritizing school culture and students’ social-emotional development will create supportive environments and thus reinforce efforts to address students’ academic needs.
In addition, NSVF’s analysis suggests that the impact of SEL on academic outcomes is even more impactul when students: (1) believe their abilities and skills can grow with effort and feel physically and emotionally safe, or; (2) believe their abilities and skills can grow with effort and feel their teachers expect a lot from them in terms of effort, persistence, and learning.