There is much discussion among educators around the world right now about teaching and learning in pandemic conditions and the importance of providing - along with academics - solid social-emotional learning (SEL) for our students. SEL is the process through which children and adults understand and manage emotions, feel and show empathy for others, and establish and maintain positive relationships. At WCS, we are committed to looking for ways to improve our teaching practice and have trained all of our teachers in Responsive Classroom practices. Responsive Classroom is a student-centred, social and emotional learning approach to teaching and discipline. It is grounded in research, and its evidence-based practices are designed to create safe, joyful, and engaging classrooms and school communities for both students and teachers. This approach blends beautifully with our understanding of Christian community and care for one another. Responsive Classroom focuses on four key domains: engaging academics, positive community, effective management, developmentally responsive teaching. We recognize that in order to be equipped and successful in and out of school, students need to be spiritually grounded and also learn a set of social and emotional competencies—cooperation, assertiveness, responsibility, empathy, and self-control. When they feel like they belong in their classroom community, they are more likely to engage in discussion, be willing to make mistakes, and try again. Belonging helps them grow. How can I learn more about the Responsive Classroom approach? Visit the Responsive Classroom website: www.responsiveclassroom.org or follow Responsive Classroom on Facebook or Twitter.
Carol Verbeek, Principal