Guest Post by Victoria Thompson
Victoria’s Favorite Microsoft Educator Center Courses - #1: Creating Classroom Communities Using Social and Emotional Practices
Okay, so technically I am cheating a bit--this is a learning path (a set of courses) instead of just one course. However, this is so important that I feel the need to give this the #1 spot! The title of the learning path is Creating classroom communities using social and emotional practices. Personally, in my role as an instructional coach, social and emotional learning (SEL) has been a bit of a buzzword and we are trying to implement it as best as we can but, at times, still look for ways to enhance it for our students and make it less of a requirement and more of something that our students look forward to each and every day. I work with other teachers, coaches, and administrators who feel similarly, especially given the past year--it has been especially hard to meet students where they are at academically if the social and emotional needs are not fulfilled. Furthermore, there is a large question looming over everyone’s head who has been in remote/hybrid situations over the past year as to how to build community when we have been away from each other for so long; this often begins with diving into social and emotional concerns and creating avenues for students to feel safe and supported.
This is where this learning path provides a guiding light into these principles. Topics like hybrid learning, engaging and amplifying student voice with Flipgrid (another great platform!), student engagement, and supporting social-emotional learning give way for you to be a social and emotional learning rockstar and put these concepts into practice. There are five courses total, one of which I’ve already spoken about (Mindfulness in the classroom via Headspace), with each course taking about an hour’s worth of time, meaning that from start to finish this learning path should take around five hours to complete. It is WELL worth the time and can help give you insight into incorporating social and emotional practices into your classroom or your school.
About The Author
Victoria Thompson is a STEM Integration Transformation Coach at Technology Access Foundation--a nonprofit leader redefining STEM education in public schools--a consultant for Ignite EdTech, and a learning specialist for NCCE. She has been in education for five years and began her journey teaching fifth and sixth grade math and science in Summerville, SC. After completing her masters degree in curriculum and instruction she moved to the Seattle, WA area in 2018, where her career has pivoted to focusing on STEM integration in schools, K-12 mathematics instruction with research on decolonizing mathematics curriculum for teachers and learners, creating inclusive math environments, and using technology to bridge equity gaps in math education. She has presented at ISTE, ImpactEducation, CUE, and DigCitSummit on topics such as creating inclusive math classrooms, culturally responsive STEM education, and equity in educational technology.