The start of a new school year is a great time to establish a rhythm and set the tone for the year before you feel exhausted and overwhelmed. As a teacher, you know those feelings will come. Having a rhythm that builds in connection practices that reduce anxiety and build resilience that helps everyone feel better all year long. Rather than starting to implement SEL mid-Fall or later, what better time to start the rhythm than now?
This first month of school, I urge you to prioritize connection and compassion with and amongst your students. After all, we know these qualities promote resilience.
Establishing a rhythm for the day is how we find a sense of security and steadiness. This translates to our kids, especially if they don’t have a reliable rhythm at home. Rhythm and takes the edge off, it reduces stress and anxiety because we know what to expect. We build on a foundation of Daily Rhythm to promote resilience and make learning more accessible, and it does not need to take 30 minutes or more every day. We have seen that bite-sized tools, when used consistently, have a big impact on individual students, teachers, and the overall classroom environment.
Start small, like with any practice for change. One - two minutes a day of heart connection, breathing, journaling, and sharing. This is all it takes to get started. If you want specific practice tools and guidance, take a look at our Classroom Resilience Toolkit.
The beauty of SEL is that, when done right and taken on slowly and steadily, everyone participating starts to feel different, starts to feel better, and starts to feel more connected. These feelings lead to more interest and then building it into your school day is less of a chore and more of maintenance.