There are growing concerns about how COVID-19 has affected children’s social-emotional development and wellbeing as students, parents and teachers have navigated the return to in-person learning.
Social-emotional learning is about developing skills that help people navigate all parts of our lives, said Justina Schlund, senior director of content and field learning at the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning.
“These are skills like understanding our emotions and staying motivated toward our goals and also skills like how do we understand different perspectives and how do we work together to solve problems,” Schlund said.
Dr. Hannah Chow-Johnson, a pediatrician and Medical Director of Loyola Medicine at North Riverside, said that signs a student is struggling with social emotional wellbeing can be subtle, such as a change in grades and a lack of interest in activities they once previously enjoyed.
There are ways that caregivers and teachers can support students’ social emotional wellbeing.
“One of the best ways the school can address this is just really to acknowledge the fact that we have been through a pretty hard time,” Chow-Johnson said. “This is unusual, we’ve had two years of pandemic and a lot of that time the children were not in the classroom.”