Social and Emotional Problem-Solving

This fall, School Principal, Dr. Anthony Hadzimichalis brought the entire staff together – classroom teachers, clinical staff, aides, specialists and administrators – to review the new competencies, and ensure that measurable social and emotional learning objectives are front and center in the curriculum.

Social Emotional Learning benefits graphic buttons

“We want staff to develop cross curricular problem-based learning (PBL) units grounded in what our students experience every day,” said Dr. Hadzimichalis.

Social Emotional learning training for teachers at Westbridge Academy

The entire staff at Westbridge received training in Social and Emotional Learning.

“Many of our students are socially ‘clumsy,’ and they may inadvertently ‘trip and stumble’ over school rules and social norms every day,” said Hadzimichalis. “Whether it is because they lack knowledge about the social rules, lack the self-management skills or misinterpret social situations – it is our job as educators to teach them a new set of skills, and a new way of being and seeing.”

Westbridge Academy students working on math together

Activities may look like games, but these opportunities for social learning result from careful and deliberate planning and through the use of clear assessment tools,” said Dr. Hadzimichalis. “Our task is to make the learning fun and natural so the skills can better generalize.

Through innovative, hands-on experiential in-service programs, Westbridge staff learn how to teach SEL skills by intentionally creating “teachable moments’ through interdisciplinary projects, presentations, games and physical education.

Staff met in cross-curricular groups to design lesson plans around problem-based learning, and to create a rubric as an assessment tool.