Listen to each other
Please enjoy this excerpt from the FY21 Impact Report.
“At DeGolyer our mission is to ensure students feel safe, seen, heard, and respected. SEL programming, brought to us by U2L, is so important because it allows students to express themselves in an authentic way.”
Principal Herschel Carter
The pandemic greatly challenged Dallas ISD students’ wellness and resilience, self-awareness, and relationship skills. After listening to our principals, U2L heard the desire to create a strong sense of belonging, resilience, and motivation for both students and staff, critical during the 2020-2021 school year. Hence, our SEL Fellows was born.
U2L’s SEL Fellows program empowers teacher leaders to work collaboratively to identify an SEL need in their school community, create a solution in partnership with their campus leadership team, lead program implementation, and conduct program evaluation.
The program began in the summer, with teacher leaders participating in a virtual wellness course to enhance their own mental wellbeing. U2L Director of Social and Emotional Learning, Christine Lipschitz, then led the SEL Fellows in collaborative sessions throughout the school year that allowed Fellows to learn from each other, share challenges and successes, and form supportive relationships across U2L partner schools.
The power of our SEL Fellows’ Projects is that each campus-based SEL initiative is campuswide and teacher-led. Programs implemented by SEL Fellows included creating a SEL school resource drive, a SEL campus newsletter, a SEL video library for students and families, and the implementation of consistent morning meetings throughout all classrooms.
COMMON CLASSROOM PRACTICES AT U2L SCHOOLS:
- Daily 15-30 minute culture-building morning meetings
- Instruction about brain function and regulation
- 1:1 student/teacher check-ins
- Regular breathing exercises to ease anxiety and stress
- So much more!