Social-emotional learning is parallel to the content and in many ways is more important than content at the middle school because the students are going through so many changes psychologically and physiologically. If you don’t create a classroom where everyone feels safe, they are not going to learn.
It’s about making sure that you are developing really good relationships with your students. One of my students said to me the other day, “This class is half-French lesson and half-therapy.” I replied, “Well, I guess I’m doing my job” because that’s what it really is. You have to teach the people first and then you teach the content.