Social Emotional Learning

How can we design learning settings so that all students thrive?

Pamela Cantor, M.D., Linda Darling-Hammond, Merita Irby, and Karen Pittman Education has long been central to the promise of the United States of America. But our current education system has never been designed to promote the equitable opportunities or outcomes that our children and families deserve, and that our democracy, society and economy need. Our system was designed for a different world — to support mass education preparing students for their presumed “places in life.” That world believ
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CDC Parent Survey Shows Remote Learning Emotional Health Risks

In a probability-based survey of parents of children aged 5–12 years, 45.7% reported that their children received virtual instruction only, 30.9% in-person only, and 23.4% combined virtual and in-person instruction. Findings suggest that virtual instruction might present more risks than does in-person instruction related to child and parental mental and emotional health and some health-supporting behaviors.

Full report:

Association of Children’s Mode of School Instruction with Child and Parent Experiences and Well-Being During the COVID-19 Pandemic — COVID Experiences Survey, United States, October 8–November 13, 2020

Continuous Improvement of SEL Implementation in the Washoe County School District: Deeply Embedding Continuous Improvement Into District Systems and Structures – AWG

Continuous Improvement of SEL Implementation in the Washoe County School District: Deeply Embedding Continuous Improvement Into District Systems and Structures – AWG
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Pandemic – Learning Side Effects

1 in 5 teachers in USA Today poll say they may not return to school in the fall!

Click the image above to read the article.

This pandemic gives public education a multi-dimensional wake-up call.

A major rethink, redesign, and massive implementation is needed.

How we can better use our network of real estate, buildings, administration, teachers and staff, learning content, and communication capabilities to support preK-12 and lifelong learning in today’s world?

> Schedule appropriate to the physical, emotional, economic needs of learners,
relevant to our times.

> Respect teachers in status, compensation, working conditions, professional regard and authority.

> Enable authentic learning work rather than make work.

> Assess progress as learning work happens, rather than interrupting learning for “tests” that waste the time available for learning ,respect and elevate teachers.

> Implement innovations to make learning more personal, effective, engaging, and timely.

Emotional Intelligence in the Pandemic – Dr. Marc Brackett of RULER

Cover of the book titled "Permission to Feel."

Dr. Marc Brackett is the founder of RULER is an approach to social emotional learning from the Yale University Center for Emotional Learning, I will make notes on his webinar as he speaks today:

The RULER Skills

RULER is an acronym for the five skills of emotional intelligence:

Recognizing emotions in oneself and others
Understanding the causes and consequences of emotions
Labeling emotions with a nuanced vocabulary
Expressing emotions in accordance with cultural norms and social context
Regulating emotions with helpful strategies

The first way to create peaceful environment for our children and students is to learn our own emotional regulation. It is about everyone– not about the coach, teacher, aid, parent, children– it is about all.

What is the climate in virtual learning world? What does good emotional health look like?
To think about this, we will look at Emotional Regulation and Emotional Co-regulation.

Maya Angelou’s quote “As you grow older, you will discover, you have two hands. One for helping yourself, and one for helping others.”

To start today, as we should at all times, notice how we feel. Where are you on the Mood Meter?

This pandemic has us feeling stressed in many ways. When we are anxious, it feels like these feelings will last forever. Our worst selves can come out. Too many of us feel in the red and blue– when we want to be in the yellow and the green.

What comes before the development of the skills to lead in development of emotional intelligence? I wrote the book “Permission to Heal”– what does that phrase mean to you?

We have to give ourselves and others permission to feel?

I was bullied. My parents did not know how to help me. But I had an amazing uncle who gave me permission to feel. Did you have someone?

Think about the characteristics of the person who gave you permission to feel?
What are the characteristics of that person?
Understanding? Warm? Caring?

Are you becoming that person?

Our vision: To use the power of emotion to build a more equitable world.
How children feel is important for 5 reasons.

How do you initiate feelings?

Today we will look at Co-Regulation. We will learn to take 4 steps now to avoid the 12 steps later. (joke)

How would you describe your best self? How would you like to be seen, to be described. Here is how the webinar attendees answered:

A scientist is curious and explores, listens for the stories, find out how they are actually feeling. Instead of judging. Are you the scientist or the judge?

Some folks say “I am the emotion scientist with the kids I care about the least and the emotion judge with the kids I care about the most.”  It cannot be about you– you need to become “emotion scientists”.

What is the psychological difference between anger and disappointment?

Anger is about injustice and unfairness. Often anger is interpersonal Danger, anxiety, uncertainty, jealousy, too much demand not enough resources. Disappointment is about not living up to expectations

What are our strategies to help children develop emotional regulation?

The truth about our role in helping our students/children: We are not the knowers, we are the learners??
Are all strategies permitted in your home? Use self talk and re-appraisal to gain balance.

Feelings are impermanent. (The yogic view– Vipassana kernal) There is a way to get better at it.

Ask your child– what would you tell your best friend if he was in this situation? The child then comes up with good solutions. Do not be the knower, be the listener. Go in as the scientist, note hints, ask…

Chronic overwhelm— we say “yes” to too much. What works for me may not work for you. Specific to the relationship. It is all about building the awareness.

There is no correct or incorrect. Is it working for you? Is it working for your child?

Follow up. Reinforce the benefits. Create for the success. The goal has to be about building a habit.
In my difficult chlldhood, so many people defined my reality for me.
Remember you are co-creating the realities for yourself and your children.

What was your biggest aha from this webinar?
(for me:”Be a scientist and a listener, not a judge.”)

Set an intention, right now. What will be different for you as a result of using these strategies.
(for me: asking my children instead of expecting)

What might get in the way?
Are there larger structural problems?

If you fail, forgive. This is a life’s work. Everyone’s health depends on it. Join my free book club on my website. Read about my book. There are apps. If your school is not yet committed check out support at

Welcome to RULER