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Arizona educators offer quick teaching tips to help teachers with social-emotional learning

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Posted at 5:00 AM, Nov 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-29 07:28:23-05

PHOENIX — Cristina Hidalgo-Holiday is a Student Resource Coordinator, helping Arizona kids build coping skills for life.

For the past 15 years, her focus has been on helping students in Maricopa County who are facing some of life's most challenging circumstances, including homelessness.

"You know, not only are they seeing their parents struggle, but they're living it themselves. And so it's, it's really just a hard time for them. And we just want to come and walk alongside them and be supportive," she told ABC15.

Due to the pandemic, support like that is more important than ever.

That's why she and others are teaming up with the Maricopa County Superintendent's Office.

"He is doing something called Promising Practices, which is a platform that he has different educators come and whatever they are well-versed in, whatever their expertise is in, they make a video."

The Promising Practices videos are shared with educators across Arizona. Each one offers quick teaching tips for Social-Emotional Learning.

Teachers learn how to help kids breathe through stressful moments and also learn ways to coach kids when they feel overwhelmed or anxious.

They learn how to use "I statements" to communicate their need to be heard without placing blame on someone else.

And the Iceberg of Emotions can be used to help teachers understand that anger, for some students, is just a sliver of what these kids are really going through.

"The whole concept was to let people know that what you see is not necessarily what it is. It might be what you're getting, but it's not what it is. And it's always important to dig a little deeper, because when we do, we'll understand that we're just seeing the tip, we're not really seeing the whole gamut of what the iceberg is."

Whether it is social isolation from the pandemic or trauma associated with the loss of a loved one, these educators hope mindfulness tools will help Arizona kids for many years to come.

While these Promising Practices videos are helpful for both teachers and students, they’re also loaded with information for parents.