At Peekapak, we’ve developed a social-emotional learning (SEL) platform that seamlessly integrates into everyday classroom instruction, library use, and at-home learning. Through our work with thousands of educators around the world, we have identified some key barriers to SEL and how you can overcome them when implementing your new SEL initiative.

Overcoming Key Barriers to SEL

Minimal Time

Time is limited and incredibly valuable in any classroom. Teachers often struggle with implementing new strategies and lessons that also cover all the required curricula. Having lessons that integrate with a class’ current curriculum is a great way to overcome this barrier to SEL. As well, keeping activities concise helps teachers find the time to implement them into their classes. That is why we offer resources that are aligned with standard English Language Arts or literacy requirements and provide lesson plans that are quick and engaging for even the youngest learners.

Low SEL Know-how

While SEL is becoming more and more talked about, it is still new to many. It’s important to properly train and inform educators while providing them with materials that are easy to pick-up and follow. Providing lesson plans that are comprehensive, based on strong research, and designed to be easily adaptable will help engage teachers who are not familiar with SEL. It is far easier to implement something new when it is already developed and simple enough for anyone to follow.

Child, Girl, Young, Caucasian, Childhood, Daughter

Connection with Parents

Many parents often struggle with finding meaningful ways to interact with their child regarding their child’s education. Getting the parent community on board is crucial for the successful implementation of any new educational project which is why you should engage with parents in a way that works for them. Offering quick, optional updates to parents on what their child is learning will help to engage parents with their child’s SEL learning. For example, Peekapak offers concise at-home activities that are easy and fun for the whole family to complete together.

Easy Accessibility

Although it is great to have a digital program that saves resources, in many areas, technology is not accessible enough for an online program to be convenient. Giving teachers and parents access to physical versions of any SEL resource is crucial. Making all resources and materials available for printing will help to engage those with less technology, especially in classrooms where teachers and students may not have internet access. As well, being able to have teachers print out at-home activities for students to take home rather than requiring the parent to have internet access will help to engage parents.

Supporting Additional Needs

No two students are the same, so requiring all students to complete the same lessons and tasks will not work. Offering a base lesson with ways to easily modify and accommodate specific needs will be greatly helpful to educators and families. At Peekapak, we’ve made our storybooks and at-home updates and activities available in Spanish so that parents in the Spanish-speaking communities can still engage with their child’s SEL growth. All of our lesson plans offer modifications for students who are non-native English speakers and our storybooks offer narration for younger students still learning to read.

Looking for a technology-based program to teach empathy and other social-emotional skills to elementary aged children? Look no further than Peekapak! Peekapak is an award-winning, social-emotional learning (SEL) platform that uses engaging lessons, stories, and digital games in the classroom and at home. Developed by education experts, Peekapak’s innovative curriculum teaches skills like gratitude, empathy, and self-regulation using literacy, reading, and writing based learning curriculum.

About Ami Shah

Ami Shah is a Co-Founder & CEO of Peekapak, an organization that is empowering the next generation of globally aware, enthusiastic, and empathetic citizens - whether learning is in-person, virtual, or hybrid. To learn more about Peekapak for your school or district, request more information here:

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