September 27, 2021

Webinar Recap: New Insights Reveal How to Set Your School up For Success

This summer, we saw world-class athletes Simone Biles and Naomi Osaka take a step back from their passions due to mental health reasons. Their example of practicing self-care is one we can all follow this school year, especially since a recent study by Education Week found that half of the teachers reported feeling burned out and another survey reported 51% of students are feeling more stressed. Now more than ever, student and teacher well-being is being put to the test. 

During this webinar, The Social Institute explored what school communities are feeling as they head back to school and the need to prioritize self-care throughout this year. Christina Cipriano, Ph.D., an Assistant Professor at the Yale Child Study Center and Director of Research at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence led the discussion with data backed by student and educator responses in a national survey. During this webinar, attendees learned:

  • Mental health trends impacting students and teachers
  • What schools can do proactively to support social-emotional health
  • How school leaders can manage student and teacher expectations during challenging times
  • Ways educators and students can practice self-care to ensure social-emotional health

You can watch the webinar here or continue reading about the essential takeaways below.

Concerns students have this year that differ from previous years

The L.A Times recently reported that many students and teachers are psyched to return to school. While returning to school is exciting for most, it can also bring concerns. The COVID-19 pandemic continues to be felt very differently between households and communities across the nation, which makes it difficult to generalize. Dr. Cipriano shared that depending on the degree of learning loss, wages, experiences, and safety, students may be more or less available to learn. She emphasized the value of laying a foundation of understanding, compassion, and empathy within classrooms. As schools move forward into the new semester, leading with empathy and compassion is the first step to understanding students and kicking off a great start to the year. 

In our first LIVE Lesson of the year, Student Survey data touched on what students’ biggest concerns were as they started the school year. Students in grades 5-8 responded that their biggest concern was feeling stressed. The majority of students in grades 9-12 stated that their biggest challenge would be feeling less motivated.

How can we set students and educators up for success this year? 

A Mckinsey and Co. survey found that “Students testing in 2021 were about ten points behind in math and nine points behind in reading, compared with matched students in previous years.” Dr. Cipriano shared that chronic stress impedes memory and undermines our ability to be effective learners, teachers, and leaders. She reminded us of the value of meeting students where they are. Research suggests the healing power of gratitude, whether that is through interactions between students in the classroom, in staff meetings, or at home. 

For a complete breakdown of these new insights to help set your school up for success, watch the entire webinar on-demand. For other helpful tips, strategies, and ideas, follow us on social media @thesocialinst or contact us.

You can also check out our other past recorded webinars and keep an eye on our regularly updated webinar schedule for upcoming timely webinars, featuring guest thought leaders and updated research and insights.


About The Social Institute

The Social Institute partners with schools nationwide to empower students, families, and educators to positively navigate social-emotional health, social media, and technology. Schools access our student-respected, turnkey curriculum through, an interactive, gamified learning platform. With solutions for students, parents, and educators, we offer a systemic and comprehensive SEL program through a unique and positive approach. We are proud to serve public and independent partners such as Ravenscroft School, Woodward Academy, Oldfields School, All Saints Episcopal School, Lake Forest School District, Boston Public Schools, and more. For more information on how to empower your students to make high-character decisions online and off, please contact us.