Now more than ever, the emotional support and consistency derived from special school rituals is vitally important. But how do we connect with and provide self-care for students to make them feel secure when we are not with them in person? Student Social Emotional Learning (SEL) is crucial as we help kids feel comfortable and safe throughout the school year. Angela Estrella of Stanford University’s Center to Support Excellence in Teaching shared with us some useful lessons and social-emotional activities that help students identify and manage deep and difficult feelings as they build relationships with teachers and classmates. Her comments were about closing out the year, but they are equally useful year-round. You can check out the webinar here.
- Self-care is not: a reward for achieving goals- it is an acknowledgment of our personal value.
- Self-care is: a way to cultivate resilience in students and teachers alike.
You can use Adobe Spark to create a Self-Care Package graphic that can ‘pack’ the following reflection ideas in graphic form. This is a great social-emotional activity that can be adapted for teachers and students of all ages. It serves as a reminder to think positively and that this period of life will not last forever.
To guide the process, use the following Self-Care Package reflection questions:
- What strengths am I using this week? Write, draw, or choose a household item that shows or represents a strength you are using to take care of yourself.
- How am I feeling today? Write, draw, or choose a household item that shows how you are feeling this week.
- How am I taking care of my feelings this week? Write, draw, or choose a household item that shows how you are taking care of your feelings this week.
- How have I practiced kindness this week? Write, draw, or choose a household item that shows how you have practiced kindness this week.
- What am I grateful for this week? Write, draw, or choose a household item that shows what you are grateful for.
- How have I practiced mindfulness this week? Write, draw, or choose a household item that shows how you practiced mindfulness.
Curate your answers with the graphics, images and other media into a presentation that you share with the class. Give opportunity for feedback and encouragement. Use self-care to create a supportive class community!
With the current school climate in mind, let’s establish and share student self-care practices at the start of the school year that we can use periodically throughout the term. When we don’t know what to expect at school from one day to the next, grace and compassion for ourselves is vital. We need daily opportunities for rest, play and rejuvenation.
You don’t need to feel alone in establishing strong relationships and planning a successful start to the school year. Adobe Spark is here to help with templates for all kinds of class activities at your fingertips–indispensable tools for a positive class experience.
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