Social & emotional learning can be challenging and awkward for students. For many of them, this is the first time they’ve been asked to close their eyes and focus on their breathing. To veil their discomfort, they may respond to these cues with uncomfortable laughs or side conversations.
While these reactions are completely normal, we should attempt to quell our students’ uncertainty. One incredibly effective way to address this is by practicing these ASSET tools with your students. Show vulnerability. Pull up a stool, close your eyes, and take deep breaths with them. Write down your gratitudes on the white board alongside them. And debrief this process with them. Share what tools you like, and know that it’s equally as important to share what you don’t like. The goal isn’t for every student to love and participate in every tool; that’s unrealistic and not the point. Our goal is for every student to explore a variety of tools to figure out what works for them. Lead the way!
About the Author
Gina has taught high school English for nearly a decade and recently discovered the power of social & emotional learning after embedding ASSET into her classroom culture. She now serves as ASSET’s Director of Programs and brings a teacher’s perspective to curricular and professional development materials. In her free time (when her bouncing baby boy is sleeping or in someone else’s arms), Gina loves to read, cook big family dinners, and get outside with her husband and dog.