Schools are closed in much of the United States, leaving students to hunker down at home for months — without their usual outlets for learning and socializing. Educators say trying to meet their social-emotional needs will be more important than ever. Even when schools reopen, students might still be grappling with fears, anxieties, or lingering trauma.
But too often, experts say, teachers are tasked with implementing new social-emotional learning practices in their classrooms without adequate, ongoing support, which can tank the effectiveness of the initiative.
“Everybody wants to do things quickly and efficiently, so there’s been a move toward online training as a way for teachers to do this,” said Mark Greenberg, a professor of human development and psychology at Pennsylvania State University and a founder of the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning. “There’s little or no evidence that online training is sufficient to have teachers implement these programs with quality.”