Podcast: SEL During a Pandemic with Lauren Kazee

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In this episode, we chat with Lauren Kazee about the impact COVID-19 is having on our social and emotional wellness. We discuss what social-emotional learning (SEL) is, how it’s been used to help students in schools, and how we can all benefit by understanding and living by the basic tenets of SEL especially during times of high stress and trauma. We also welcome Justin Bruno in his official debut as co-host of the Digital Backpack!

Here are some notes about the episode:

  • Lauren provides an overview of social-emotional learning, focusing on the ability of both children and adults to identify what they are feeling and how their emotions impact their actions and interactions with others. Prioritizing SEL, she explains, allows students to put themselves in a better frame of mind and is conducive to more successful academic learning.
  • We discuss how a universal SEL focus can be implemented in a multi-tiered system of support to serve all students as a “preventative” approach, as well as how it can be more targeted to serve students with different and greater needs.
  • While we don’t have a wealth of available data yet because of its recency, we know that the Covid-19 crisis can be especially trying for students and families, as evidenced by an increase in call volume to crisis hotlines. We also know that the teaching profession is already among the most stressful occupations in the country, so it’s incredibly important for educators to prioritize their own social and emotional wellbeing in order to better serve students.
  • Educators are thinking outside of the box and in creative ways to show students that they care for and support them, helping maintain an emotional connection during a difficult time.
  • We also mention a recent blog series that Lauren authored that focuses on SEL as it pertains to parents, which provides an overview of the concepts and practical tips for integrating social-emotional learning during this time of school closures.
  • If you’re interested in learning more about SEL to support K-12 students, the Michigan Cares portal provides families and educators with free digital lessons designed to help students develop the skills required for social, emotional, and mental well-being.
  • Podcast PD is a great way to extend your learning while listening to the Digital Backpack.

Make sure to subscribe to listen to future episodes!

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The Digital Backpack

The Digital Backpack

The Digital Backpack, powered by Michigan Virtual, is a podcast dedicated to sharing tips and tricks for teachers as they navigate their journey through online and blended learning. Join the host Jeff Gerlach as he discovers new tools and resources for classroom use, talks to practitioners who are doing great things with their students, and has some fun!

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