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Social-Emotional Learning

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Nurturing Empathy: Building Social-Emotional Skills in our Classrooms

In the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, amid ongoing global conflicts and an increasingly digital world where social media heavily influences children and teenagers, there's a significant need for support in developing healthy, confident personalities. At GISNY, social-emotional learning (SEL) is essential for both groups and individuals in navigating these challenges.

The benefits of SEL are well-researched, and there is ample evidence that an educational environment that promotes social-emotional learning produces positive outcomes for students and the school community. When students have supportive relationships and opportunities to develop and practice social, emotional, and cognitive skills across various contexts, it accelerates and enhances academic performance.

Our Approach

In collaboration with the Morningside Center in New York, we implemented a social-emotional learning approach in our weekly class circles to build social and emotional skills, strengthen the classroom as well as school community. Class circles cultivate a sense of belonging and connection with each other, enabling students to engage in constructive conversations about the challenges and opportunities in their lives.

During class circles we address current relevant topics through a spiral curriculum, tailored to the needs of the individuals, the class, and the school community. Key topics in our middle and upper school curriculum include friendship, stress, standing up against discrimination, cliques, social media, bullying, gender identity, the individual within the group, and academic success.

Building strong minds.  Growing compassionate hearts.  

students sitting in class circle for SEL teaching

Strong Sense of Community

From day one on campus, students feel it: the caring way in which they are welcomed, how students relate to each other, the supportive atmosphere where teachers value student input, and the strong sense of community that sets us apart.

Faculty Development

We make sure that social-emotional learning at GISNY is continually evolving, with ongoing professional development to refine and adapt our approach to meet the needs of everyone involved in our school life, ensuring that GISNY remains a safe and inclusive place of social-emotional stability, that successfully complements academic learning.