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Giving Compass' Take:
• Ilana Nankin created Breathe For Change, a curriculum and movement built to support the social-emotional well-being of teachers.
• Why is it important for teachers to have positive coping mechanisms and outlets?
Classrooms today can be as stressful as the ER, which impacts social-emotional well-being among educators. Teachers are forced to resort to coping mechanisms. Research has found that teacher stress can interfere with effective teaching of social-emotional learning to students.
Specifically, Breathe For Change founder Ilana Nankin’s research has demonstrated that the stresses of teaching all too often lead to a cycle of diminishing well-being for educators that negatively correlates to student learning.
Motivated by her teaching experiences and the critical connection between teacher wellness and student social-emotional learning, Nankin formed Breathe For Change—a movement to empower educators as champions of well-being. And she set out to design a new curriculum that focuses on enhancing the social-emotional well-being of teachers.
Breathe For Change’s unique SEL*F curriculum honors the importance of the educator’s own self in the learning process. It integrates yoga, mindfulness, equity and inclusion, and social-emotional learning to support educators in being mindful, inclusive, present, and embodied when teaching their students. Since 2015, thousands of educators have been certified in the SEL*F curriculum that—according to New York educator Dina Mimnaugh—“takes teaching to a whole new level for students, their families, and colleagues."
The results of this research align with simple logic. Just as a math teacher needs to learn math to be effective, educators wishing to teach and model SEL must first develop their own skills in self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationships, and responsible decision-making.
By embodying their own well-being first, teachers can model the social-emotional skills and facilitate the human connections that are all-too-often lost in our technology-driven world.
Read the full article about social-emotional learning for teachers by Ilana Nankin, Ph.D. and Michael Fenchel at EdSurge