SEL Theme: Relationships

SEL Theme: Relationships

The events of the past year have challenged us, and our relationships, in many different ways. Schools and their communities have been particularly hard hit by these challenges. As schools have moved to online or hybrid learning models, the focus has been on mitigating learning loss for students. Fortunately, we know that cultivating and sustaining healthy relationships among students, caregivers, teachers, and leaders is a powerful way to address learning and well-being.

The research regarding the connection between healthy relationships in schools, homes, and communities and student learning and growth is clear. According to a 2018 study by Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence and New Teacher Center, relationships among colleagues, with administrators, and with and among students are a protective factor for overall health and well-being. Resilience and inspiration increases and emotional exhaustion and burnout decreases among educators when we have healthy, supportive, positive relationships.

While the research is clear, creating strong, positive relationships in our new world of social distancing and online learning environments is a new and ongoing journey for many of us. The goal is to share resources and strategies that you can use in-person or virtually to help facilitate healthy relationships in classrooms, schools and communities.

According to Californians for Justice, below are six things teachers can do to build relationships with students. For more details and additional resources, view the Californians for Justice flyer. (From student leaders at Californians for Justice working to create Relationship Centered Schools that value student voice, invest in staff, and create spaces for relationship building. This image comes from Californians for Justice. *Reference cited by Californians for Justice is noted as coming from the California Healthy Kids Survey.


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