Social-Emotional Learning Should Be Priority During COVID-19 Crisis

Updated: May 19, 2020

This article orignally appeared in NEA Today on April 15, 2020 by Tim Walker.


In Wendy Turner’s class, social and emotional learning (SEL) comes first. “SEL is the foundation, the heartbeat of the classroom,” she says. “It’s about connecting everybody and making them feel safe and secure before you get to the academics.”


The shift to full-time online learning in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic has brought change and challenges to her second-grade classroom but hasn’t shaken SEL’s standing.

“This virus has stolen our kids’ school experience for the rest of the year potentially and we’re not sure what comes next,” says Turner. “They miss their friends and their teachers, the feeling of being together and connected.”


“So we have to work on relationship skills and how to talk to each other the right way. It’s more important than ever right now.”