Gaggle Speaks

Ideas, News & Advice for K-12 educators and administrators to help create safe learning environments.

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Written by Paget Hetherington
on February 14, 2020

From loved and adored to anxious or even depressed, Valentine’s Day can trigger a range of emotions in both adults and children. Many adults stress about the holiday, and children can notice this behavior and feel as though they should have the same concerns. For some, the pressure that accompanies Valentine’s Day can really get in the way of the loving spirit of the day.

Many schools today are incorporating social and emotional learning (SEL) into the curriculum, which can be especially helpful during holidays such as Valentine’s Day. By promoting empathy in the classroom through SEL teaching, schools can help build a stronger climate for their students. One way to achieve this is by encouraging students to be more inclusive. Rather than being selective when handing out valentines, recommend that students include all of their classmates on their list. This helps both teachers and students create a more caring classroom environment where everyone feels welcome.

Good mental health is critical for children to succeed, and SEL provides an environment that promotes students’ physical and emotional well-being. These soft skills—such as learning to manage emotions, showing empathy for others, and making responsible decisions—can help children better understand the many emotions they may be feeling on special occasions like Valentine’s Day. SEL can also improve a child’s state of mind and ability to focus, which can boost academic achievement. By integrating SEL practices into teaching, educators can enhance these important skills while creating a safe and supportive classroom environment.

While traditionally considered a romantic holiday, Valentine’s Day is a wonderful time to show anyone (or everyone!) in your life that you care. Showing someone in your life that you care for and love them can positively impact their mental health. A thoughtful gesture on a day like this can mean the world to someone who is struggling.

To learn more about the role of SEL in student mental health, be sure to read our white paper.

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