A global pandemic, social injustice, digital learning, all happening at once, this is an emotional ticking time bomb waiting to explode, if it hasn’t already for our students. It is important to keep in mind the social and emotional impact all of this will have on our students. To get a grip on some of the trauma, schools are implementing SEL, social and emotional learning through class sessions, counselor meetings, and professional development for their teachers.
Trauma Informed Educator
Students deal with their own personal trauma and carry it with them wherever they go. “Trauma informed” educator is one of the new buzz words that school districts are focusing on in order to help our students with their social and emotional learning. SEL focuses on 5 competencies: self-awareness, responsibility, understanding one’s emotional state, learning how to get along with your peers, and setting positive goals that are obtainable. When students lack social and emotional skills, and the soft skills they need to be successful it can impact them negatively.
Combating Stress with a Calming Room
One of the ways teachers and schools are working to combat the stress, anxiety and struggle is to implement a calming room. A calming room offers students a chance to chill out if they are experiencing levels of high anxiety or need a place to simply let go.
Many colleges and universities, workplaces, and schools have implemented physical calming rooms to offer a place for people to go when they need to decompress. However, with schools going digital, teachers started creating virtual calming rooms.
What is a virtual calming room?
A virtual calming room is where students can retreat too, calm down and begin to process and think rationally if they’re having issues with peers, teachers, or just life in general. It allows for a student to essentially reset when they feel overwhelmed. In a brick and mortar setting, teachers can provide a pass to the student to go to the calming room, however it looks a little bit different in the virtual world.
Many teachers are setting up a bitmoji class calming room. They post it on their websites, blogs, or learning management systems. Teachers are adding pictures of beaches, the mountains, streams, and fireplaces. When you click on the picture it takes you to a YouTube video of relaxing music, crashing waves, or a crackling fire.
Other calming rooms include links to webcams of animals such as The San Diego Zoo which offers the ever so adorable penguin cam among others.
The best part, the calming rooms are free!