Students begin attending a social emotional learning time with the new online learning system in place due to highschools across Michigan being shut down.
With COVID-19, Loy Norrix High School is operating online until at least trimester 3 begins in March, and a few changes come with that, including SEL time.
SEL stands for Social Emotional Learning, it is a time for students to meet with their teachers and classmates and discuss how they are doing mentally.
Sophomores Lucy Heystek and Violet Berg are among many of the Loy Norrix students attending and participating in SEL every Wednesday.
“Normally, we join the SEL Google Meet and we start by doing an interactive slideshow with questions, through Desmos.com. Where we answer questions for the emotional aspect of it,” said Heystek. “Then for the second half of SEL we play games with the other students.”
An hour of SEL is new to the weekly schedule this year. SEL Group A is 9:00am-10:00am and Group B is 10:15am-11:15am every Wednesday.
According to CASEL, “Social and emotional learning (SEL) is the process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.”
“I enjoy SEL because I like being able to interact with the other students in my grade and classroom,” said Berg.
Both Berg and Heystek enjoy SEL time, but they have different views on if it helps their mental health.
Berg explained, “SEL gets me to talk to other people that I wouldn’t normally talk to and helps me form friendships with my classmates, so it really does help my mental health.”
But Heystek has a different opinion, “I don´t think SEL is helpful towards my mental health because it is just surveying all the students and their emotions which doesn’t really help my mental health,” said Heystek.
As the first trimester of the school year is wrapping up, SEL will most likely be a topic brought up for trimester two. Debating the schedule change for trimester two SEL, and if this change works for students.
“SEL should be required because it is important for students to interact with each other when we are not in a normal classroom,” said Berg.
All teachers teach SEL differently. Some do yoga during SEL while others play games and talk to one another.
“Everyone’s experiences with SEL are different but that’s what makes it fun and interesting,” said Heystek. “It gives us a cool new way to interact with each other on a really personal level even though we are online.”