A terrorist attack on our nation's capitol... in the middle of a deadly pandemic... This past week has been a crazy one in the United States and I know that my personal feelings have been ALL OVER THE PLACE. Anxiety, worry, moments of joy and surprise... I have no doubt that my students are also struggling with lots of big feelings right now. As teachers we can't expect to solve all of our students' problems, but we can certainly check in with them to help recognize their emotions. As the saying goes, "If you can name it, you can tame it."
Online learning makes it so much harder to get an accurate gauge of how our students are doing emotionally. We are physically distant and often can't even see their faces. Unless we make a point of asking our students how they're doing, we could miss significant things going on with their emotions.
I made these feelings check-ins as lighthearted way to inquire about my students emotional wellbeing and readiness to learn. After all, a child with dysregulated emotions is not going to able to sit and focus in a music lesson! It is our job to find out where the students are and what they need.
I sometimes add one of these images to the beginning of my lesson slideshow. I ask students to respond by typing their number in the chat. I give them the option to share more details about why they chose their number but make sure they know that divulging more information is not required. It has started some meaningful conversations and helped me understand more of what my students are going through during these crazy times.
I hope these are helpful for you and spark meaningful conversations between you and your students!