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Blog: Wednesday, September 20th, 2017

Social Emotional Learning at Abbotsford Middle School

Elementary practices have guided our thinking and our practices.  We’ve realized the need for continuing those practices at the middle level here at Abbotsford Middle School. There has been so much positive change happening around Social Emotional Learning (SEL) and the strategies that come with it.

Room Design and In-class Strategies

We have included such things as a therapy dog, roots of empathy curriculum, mindfulness, class circles, explicit teaching of character traits, background music, movement breaks, yoga and the weight room.

Meet Mr. Barr

Mr. Barr is a case manager for “At Risk” boys who has weekly group meetings, boys have a connection with a male role model, they have an increase in school enjoyment, he has helped them foster positive peer connections, and has developed character qualities in the boys he teaches.  Mr. Barr’s schedule includes circle time, a character lesson, and a hands on activity.

Here is What a Few of Our Staff Members Have to Say about SEL

“At Abby Middle, we foster SEL by ensuring each student has a ‘go-to person’ and has access to alternative spaces to regulate and learn.  Providing these safe options has allowed them to relax and flourish as students and individuals.”

“Since I have started to pay attention to the physical environment of my classroom, I've noticed a big change in not only my students, but myself as well.  Changing the lighting, adding music, plants and flexible seating as well as de-cluttering the space has had such an impact on my mood and my students' ability to learn.  The sense of calm and peace is so much more conducive to learning and teaching than the harsh light and rows of desks I previously worked with.  Having had the chance to add morning meetings and zones of regulation to my practice this year I'm realizing that I already know so much more about where my students are coming from each day, which has helped me tailor my teaching to suit their needs.”    

TARYN LAWRENCE
Grade 7 Teacher, Abbotsford Middle School