Back To School Social-Emotional Basics: Relationship, Rhythm, Release


Back To School Social-Emotional Basics: Relationship, Rhythm, Release

As our elementary students head back to school in person, in this very new way, there will be many emotions stirred up in them. Alarm. Frustration. Worry. Excitement. 

And this will be mirrored by what we, as adults, may also be experiencing. For our teachers, on top of what they will be emotionally experiencing themselves, they are being called to be the caring leaders that guide our students to a place where they can learn together.

This is going to be a challenging dance. Our teachers are true change makers. They are providers and they are leaders and this period in history is going to shine a light on their vital role in our children’s emotional health.

As students return to school, it’s important to remember that their social-emotional well-being is just as important as their academic success. Creating a positive and supportive learning environment requires attention to three key elements: relationship, rhythm, and release.

Let’s take a closer look at the 3 R’s of emotional basics:


Building positive relationships between teachers, students, and families is crucial for creating a supportive learning environment. Teachers can take the time to get to know each student individually, showing interest in their lives and listening to their concerns. This approach can help students to feel valued and supported, and also promote a sense of belonging in the classroom.


Establishing a predictable and consistent routine in the classroom can help students to feel secure and comfortable. Teachers can create a daily schedule that includes structured activities, movement breaks, and opportunities for social interaction. This approach can help students to develop a sense of control and predictability, which can reduce anxiety and improve focus.


Allowing students to express their emotions in a safe and supportive environment is essential for promoting social-emotional well-being. Teachers can create opportunities for students to share their thoughts and feelings, such as through journaling, art, or class discussions. This approach can help students to develop self-awareness and emotional regulation skills, which can benefit their academic and personal growth.

In conclusion, as students return to school, it’s important to focus on the social-emotional basics: relationship, rhythm, and release. By building positive relationships, establishing a consistent routine, and creating opportunities for emotional expression, teachers can create a supportive and inclusive learning environment that promotes student well-being and success.

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