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Shelby HubachMarzano Research

Everyone in education is navigating new territory these days as we continue to work through the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. While educators are doing their best to use new technologies, new models, and new delivery systems, it’s also important to foster relationships with our students and families and keep social-emotional learning (SEL) in mind as we cope with an unconventional fall for our industry.

Enduring the far-reaching effects of the pandemic has been a lot like weathering a storm. Some people have storm cellars or shelters, some have high-quality umbrellas, some have heavy-duty raincoats, and others have nothing at all to protect themselves from the elements. This is very much paralleled in the education community, where some students have access to high-speed internet and state-of-the-art devices to help facilitate their remote learning and some students have no access to technology at all, fueling what’s known as the “digital divide.”

Aside from technology access, individual students’ basic inclination toward remote learning also affects the scope of this divide. Some students have acclimated to independent learning better than others, and operating in a remote or hybrid setting makes it inherently difficult for teachers to maintain the level of contact that might be necessary to effectively guide certain students along their respective learning path. Supporting students’ SEL and maintaining strong personal relationships with them is a great way to help keep their academic trajectory on course during this turbulent time.

By keeping SEL at the forefront of teaching this fall, educators can somewhat help reduce the impact of the digital divide on their students’ learning capacities. With that in mind, here are some helpful resources to look at when considering SEL this fall:

As we all seek to weather this unpredictable and dramatic storm known as Hurricane COVID, these resources and others like it will hopefully help keep learners on track. As education professionals, we’re all in the business of building relationships, so keeping SEL in mind as learning plans are delivered in a variety of formats this fall can help prioritize this function while also helping to keep the digital divide in check.