TECHing It to the Next Level
Empathy and Emotional Support
Digital Tools for Empathy and Social Emotional Support
Sharing physical space with the crisis counselor (our wonderful Mrs. Osborn) over the past three years has really opened my eyes to the need for building empathy skills and mental health support in our building. It is definitely true that we are living in a different world now than even five years before. No one can deny that. This blog post will focus on three digital tools that help to either build empathy in our students or help support them with their own mental health needs. As we journey through the month of November, no doubt, we will be thinking of counting our blessings and showing our gratitude for all we do have. However, the beginning of the holiday season can also bring extra stress and some really hard feelings for some of us, including our students. Let's try to think about how how we can check in with ourselves and our students over the coming weeks.
The Global Oneness Project is a fascinating source that explores issues facing humanity. It is a free multimedia platform that has a full curriculum, films, photo essays, and essays to help students learn about social, cultural, and enviromental issues from arouind the world. Resources included help to broaden perspectives while fostering empathy and resiliance. For example, for Native American Heritagte Month, one idea is to have students watch the short film, They Take Care of Us, about reintroducing the buffalo back to Northern Montana and allowing students to reflect on the challenges of cattle ranching and creating jobs for tribal members. Films are short, around 10 minutes, and could be great for discussion pieces!
By far, Canva is my favorite digital tool for creating! I literally use it every single day. The possibities for using it in your own creative projects and for students to use to demonstrate work are endless. Did you know you can get a free educator account and have a Canva Classroom? Yep! You can! Students can create TikTok-style videos, infographics, presentations, social media posts, photo collages, videos, and more. The possibilities are endless on this platform. Need some low-key decompressing activities in your room? Just type in in coloring bookmarks and get a plethora of bookmarks to print and have your students color in the designs to decompress. There are also plenty of posters for printing. Just type in the keywords "mental health" .Type in "Student Check In" in the search bar and immediately get all kinds of templates you can easily share with your students to check in with them about how they are doing and to help them set goals. Check below for an example.
Just ask if you need a one-on-one help session. I'm happy to help. This is a resource that you will be so glad you have . . . I promise!
16personalities.com is an insightful test for you to take to understand yourself better . . . what motivates you? What helps you work with others? Imagine how much better you can understand your students if you have them share their personality types with you. The bottom line is introverts and extroverts react to the world differently. Taking this kind of personality test definitely will build an awareness about yourself and those in your care each day.
Did you know that Nearpod has several social-emotional activities you can do with your students? Here is a quick, less than 15 minute one you could do with your students to assess how they are feeling and build connections.