The ongoing pandemic has rendered brick-and-mortar classrooms inoperable, although online teaching has somewhat remedied the need for knowledge transfer and learning. But a lack of everyday social and interpersonal activities, both students and parents face tremendous physical, mental, and emotional pressure. Educating students through online courses and helping students to have appropriate social and emotional learning is recently a hot topic in the education sector.
But we have overlooked a group of educators at the forefront. On the one hand, in addition to facing the inconvenience of using online courses, they also have to manage and educate students’ emotions. They are out of breath, but their mental and emotional needs are forgotten. According to Metcalfe’s post, about half of teachers ask for professional development or training in social emotion. And 84% of teachers agree that they need specialized training to support the students’ emotional and wellbeing needs (Metcalfe, 2020). When we think it all stems from an unstoppable epidemic. But in fact, many of our teachers had already burned out. Based on Cipriano’s post in a 2017 survey on teachers’ emotions by the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, teachers were found themselves frustrated, overwhelmed, stressed, and tired. And in a 2018 study, 85% of teachers are lack work-life balance (Ferren, 2021). Cipriano’s post also pointed out that social and emotional learning (SEL) training is not widely available; that available training is limited in social awareness and responsible decision-making competencies related. Only 10% on other critical aspects of SEL, such as self-awareness, self-management, and relationship skills (Ferren, 2021).
Another article, “How to Support Teachers’ Emotional Needs Right Now,” quoted a survey from Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence; there are five reasons, emotions matter for (1) attention, memory, and learning; (2) decision making; (3) relationships; (4) health and wellbeing; and (5) performance, that drive effective teaching and learning, the decisions educators make, classroom and school climate, and educator wellbeing. (Cipriano & Brackett, 2020) In other words, teacher professional development should design based on those five reasons. And support those teachers’ emotional needs.
To assist teachers’ emotional needs and students’ and even parents’ social and social wellbeing needs. We need a clear and practical framework to assist institutions or school administrators design better teacher professional development, and CASEL’s Framework can achieve this effect. According to Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning CASEL, five critical social and emotional learning topics are. Self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making (CASEL). Within each area, there are broad topics that can be explored. Among them, Self-Management could be the essential part that Institutions and schools need to think about how to design professional development or learn so that teachers can reduce stress. Improve teachers’ Well Being and work-life balance. Or institutions and schools can also use this Framework as an assessment to see which areas I look for teachers to face the most difficulties and challenges in their day-to-day work and include professional learning in different ways to acquire adequate and correct skills. I believe it will also help teachers reduce work stress.
Metcalfe, Y., 2020, SEL in online and blended classrooms: biggest challenges according to teachers., https://www.digitallearningcollab.com/blog/2020/7/14/sel-in-online-and-blended-classrooms-biggest-challenges-according-to-teachers
Cipriano, C. & Brackett, M., 2020, How to support teachers’ emotional needs right now., https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/how_to_support_teachers_emotional_needs_right_now
Ferren, M., 2021, Social and emotional supports for educators during and after the pandemic. https://www.americanprogress.org/article/social-emotional-supports-educators-pandemic/
CASEL Framework, https://casel.org/fundamentals-of-sel/what-is-the-casel-framework/
CASEL, Framework for systemic social and emotional learning (CASEL). Harvard University, http://exploresel.gse.harvard.edu/frameworks/1