At a recent event, a student said something that stood out to educator Karen VanAusdal: “He said, ‘I want my teacher to ask me how I am, not just how my grades are.’”
During these stressful times, kids are craving more attention to their emotional health than ever before. That’s why you might have noticed some feelings-based lessons start at your kids’ school this year. It's called SEL—or social-emotional learning—which many educators brought in to help students cope with the big changes 2020 brought.
“If kids are dealing with a lot of emotional stuff, how are they expected to turn off all those emotions to focus?” asks Jon Sarna, who teaches social-emotional awareness at Burbank Unified School District in California.