Middle School Teachers’ Experiences Remotely Teaching Social and Emotional Learning in a Professional Learning Community During a Pandemic
Abstract: Social and emotional learning (SEL) has become more common place in middle school curriculum. Curriculum interventions may consist of instructional methods designed to support the development of students’ SEL skills like self-awareness, responsibility, and relationship building while engaging in the core academic curriculum. This study explored the affordances and constraints experienced by teachers participating in a professional learning community (PLC) for SEL during remote learning. Results indicated four themes with respect to teacher perceptions of affordances and constraints during the intervention: (a) remote learning was perceived as the greatest obstacle to positive SEL outcomes and to teaching in general; (b) teachers perceived the PLC as supportive of SEL and advisory and as a personal support during remote learning, with shared practice and camaraderie being increasingly valued over the course of the intervention; (c) teachers observed better student relationships and engagement over the course of the intervention; (d) teachers identified more need for administrative support. Overall, teachers indicated that working with a PLC supported the integration of remotely teaching SEL curriculum.