As a special education teacher in an inclusive classroom, Christina Ramsay knows that growing students’ social-emotional and mindfulness skills can mean the difference between meltdowns and managed emotions, self-doubt and confidence or isolation and connection.

For nine years, Ramsay has taught in the Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) Nest program at the Academy of Talented Scholars public school in Brooklyn, New York. In that time, she’s witnessed incredible growth in her students when they learn to recognize and manage their emotions.

But in the spring of 2020, when her school closed because of the pandemic, Ramsay was worried. How could she and her co-teacher create the kind of experiences and connections that their students needed in a virtual classroom?

Then she stumbled onto Pear Deck’s website.

With the Pear Deck platform, Ramsay and her co-teacher can teach virtual synchronous and asynchronous lessons, create content, use free, premade lessons from Pear Deck, run quick formative assessments and engage with students as a group or one-on-one. The platform even offers ready-made SEL templates.

“I thought, this is incredible! This is what I need right now to continue having interactions with the kids in real time, give them in-the-moment feedback and virtually do some of the fun activities we would normally do in the classroom,” exclaims Ramsay.

EdSurge sat down with Ramsay to hear more about the impacts of teaching social-emotional and mindfulness skills to students and how Pear Deck helps her continue teaching those skills even as her students learn virtually throughout the 2021 school year.

Read the full article about virtual social-emotional learning in schools by Wendy McMahon at EdSurge.