Mar 07, 2024

Enhancing Social Emotional Learning Through Thoughtful Classroom Design: Making the Most of ESSER Funds

In today's ever-changing educational scene, social emotional learning (SEL) has become super important for helping students grow holistically. SEL is all about nurturing healthy emotions, social skills, classroom engagement, self-awareness, and empathy. For teachers and classroom designers, this means creating environments that really foster these skills. And with the availability of your remaining Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds, there's a great chance to support classrooms that do just that.

Getting to Know Social Emotional Learning

Social Emotional Learning is crucial for handling emotions, reaching goals, understanding others, building relationships, and making good choices. According to CASEL there are five main SEL skills, simply put: knowing yourself, managing yourself, understanding others, getting along with others, and making good decisions.

The Impact of Design

How classrooms are designed can have a big impact on Social EmotionalL development. Thoughtfully planned spaces can encourage socializing, reduce stress, and make students feel that they belong and are safe. Leveraging ESSER funds before they run out offers a great chance to put these ideas into action.

Here are six suggestions from our Learning Environments specialists:

The Educator's Role

While ESSER funds can help make physical changes, teachers play a large part in making SEL a part of everyday classroom life. This means modeling SEL skills, weaving SEL into lessons, creating a caring classroom community, and teaching SEL directly. As educational landscapes evolve, the strategic use of ESSER funds for SEL-focused classroom upgrades will be vital in nurturing the next generation of resilient, empathetic, and socially adept learners.

Contact our Learning Environments team for more information about design solutionsto enhance social emotional learning in your classroom.