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Promoting Life Skills and Inclusion with Classroom Routines and Procures Part 1

Promoting Life Skills and Inclusion with Classroom Routines and Procedures:  Part 1

By Nick Kier, Daria Lorio-Barsten, Kara McCulloch, and Christine Peterson

Click here to read this issue for educators

Read the Administrator’s Corner below


Administrator Corner

Social and Emotional Learning Strategies for Administrators

By Cathy Buyrn, M.Ed.

In the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, resulting school closures and heightened calls to address racial inequities in our society, school administrators must be nimble and creative.  In responding to these critical challenges, they have had to navigate remote learning, staff needs, communication with families, food distribution, technology distribution, connectivity, considerations for summer programs, considerations for opening of schools in the fall, and important questions about equity.

Trauma has touched everyone who makes up the school community, and the lived experience of school administrators during this time has been unique (Commonwealth of Virginia Department of Education [VDOE], 2020). In order to continue to be able to effectively navigate the challenges ahead, administrators must make it a priority to address their own self-care and social and emotional learning (SEL). Moving forward administrators will need to make time to decompress, reflect, and replenish their energy sources to sustain the unprecedented demands on their efforts.

  • Decompress
    • Take care of yourself and your family.
    • Spend time engaged in personal hobbies.
      • Reading for pleasure
      • Exercise
      • Arts & Crafts
      • Cooking
    • Find a support group of friends and/or colleagues.
  • Reflect
    • What has your experience been during the closure?
    • What do you think you did well and what do you hope to improve on?
    • What have you learned about yourself and your staff?
    • What have you learned about the school community?
    • How can you leverage what you have learned in planning for the future? (Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning [CASEL], 2020)
  • Replenish Energy Sources
    • Schedule time on your calendar for things that you find energizing about your work.
      • Reading to students
      • Staff community building
      • Relationship building with families
      • Celebrating success

Administrators who effectively address their own self-care and SEL will be in a much stronger position to help teachers and other staff do the same for themselves. Teachers have experienced their own challenges during this crisis, and they need a structure of support to re-engage in the teaching and learning process. They will need opportunities to connect, be heard, and heal in order to provide the same for their students (CASEL, 2020; VDOE, 2020). Administrators can model self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, responsible decision-making, and relationship skills (CASEL, 2020) to lay the groundwork for teachers to create inclusive, empathetic, and equitable learning environments when students return to school.

Administrators can find a robust collection of tools for organizing, implementing, and improving SEL in their school communities and high-quality equity building resources at Additional resources and tools may be found in the VDOE Recover, Redesign, Restart: A Comprehensive Plan That Moves Virginia Learners and Educators Forward document (2020, pp. 44-48).


Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning. (2020). An initial guide to leveraging the power of social and emotional learning as you prepare to reopen and renew your school community.

Commonwealth of Virginia Department of Education. (2020). Recover, redesign, restart 2020: A comprehensive plan that moves Virginia learners and educators forward. Virginia Department of Education.

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