Social emotional learning strategies for the pandemic
In March 2020, schools in British Columbia were closed indefinitely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The uncertainty of the whole situation was a traumatic event for both staff and students in BC schools. Even when staff and students returned to school, teachers had to learn a new way of connecting with their students and delivering curriculum. When schools reopened, educators had to address and ensure the Social Emotional Learning (SEL) needs of their students were being met. This pandemic increased anxiety and affected the mental health of staff and students in BC schools. Using a mixed method design, I explored the relationship between mental health and social emotional learning. Through an explanatory sequential approach, I utilized questionnaires followed by one-on-one interviews as my research tools. The purpose of this research was to gather data about the effects of COVID on the mental health of staff, students, and their families, and identify which SEL practices were most commonly used and found most effective during this time. The data triangulated between the questionnaires and the one-on-one interviews resulted in five main recommendations: increased mindfulness practices within the classroom and school, opportunities to connect with each other every day, additional exercise and time spent outdoors, and implementing strategies to prevent teacher burnout.