This coming school year, students of all ages will need support as they process the events of the last few months. In addition to the challenges of distance learning, some have experienced loss, illness, social isolation, financial hardship, and elevated anxiety and depression. All of these stressors can impact students’ ability to focus on lessons, participate in the classroom, or engage with their peers. Which is why teaching about feelings — along with healthy ways to manage stress and cope with tough emotions — will be more important now than ever before. 

To help, we asked TpT’s social-emotional learning experts for advice on what teachers can do to support students’ social-emotional needs. Here’s just a few of the tips they shared with us:

  • “For some students, school was the only positive environment in their life, and now it may be a scary place (because of COVID-19). We need to be mindful of this and give a lot of grace for behavior. Educators should prioritize building relationships so that students can feel comfortable and secure.” — Upper Elementary Antics
  • “I recommend that educators help students to identify the wide variety of emotions that exist… Most students know happy, sad, and angry, but few are easily able to articulate when they feel lonely, confused, overwhelmed, or jealous. By giving students the appropriate language and understanding to identify how they are feeling, they can make better choices to help them move through their discomfort.” — Success in Special Ed  
  • “[I recommend] all creative activities like drawing, painting, learning music, gardening, doing basic housework, doing seva [acts of service], cooking. Creativity balances the left and right brain and gives the logical side the much-needed rest.”— Swati Sharma

For the full list of tips, download the tip sheet below to get all of the recommendations from our Teacher-Author experts.

Confidently navigate the 2020-21 school year with expert Teacher-Author and educator advice in TpT’s Back to School 2020 Guide: For Teachers Creating Tomorrow.