Virtual Professional Learning

Social & Emotional Learning Strategies for K-2 Teachers

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The idea of heading back to school is different than it has ever been. In our world today we see and experience so much chaos day to day. We are working and living through a health pandemic, racial pandemic and not to mention the ups and downs of our everyday lives. As adults, we have been preparing for these moments through our lived experiences. Learning how to compartmentalize, ”leave it at the door”, circle back, breathe, meditate, talk it out, and just general coping mechanisms that help us navigate the uncertainty of our world. And even then, this is all so hard for us.  

But, what about our kids?

I cannot imagine what our youngest learners are going though - especially young children who are Black, Indigenous, or People of Color.

Ever changing routines, saturated media, big and small feelings and missing friends and families are just a few - out of many - things that come to mind. Young children are adapting - every day - to a changing world.  The routines that they had a year ago for back to school are null and void.  Everything is different for them, and they were just getting a handle on this thing called life. This new approach to school is one thing that they have to tackle head on, and it's our job as educators to equip ourselves to be able to help them to the best of our abilities.

The reality is that we may be the one person out of their day that will truly check in with them, who they may feel confident talking to, or who may make them feel validated in their emotions. This is a big reality and takes a lot of support and resources as educators to be able to do that. How can educators prepare themselves to be able to navigate their learners' emotions around things they might have experienced over the past several months?

Starting on August 31st, we will embark on a week of professional learning that will do just that - provide strategies and approaches to supporting young learners navigate their emotions and what educators can do to bolster that.  By kicking off with a one hour webinar with expert educators Carolyn Myron and Charisse Sims, and exploring through three daily challenges how we can support learners by naming, rating, and regulating emotions we will reflect on how these practices can be used with early learners regardless of our spaces.

The week will be focused all around Daniel Tiger’s neighborhood and specifically around the new special: Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood - Won’t You Sing Along with Me? We will use this episode to guide us in how we develop and come to understand our strategies for our young learners - Name It, Rate It, and Regulate It!


Designed and led by us - 2018 PBS KIDS Early Learning Champions Shelly Bautista and Will Tolliver Jr - educators will come to understand best practices in supporting social-emotional roots for young learners and most importantly have fun and be inspired.

This week of learning will be exciting and thought provoking, and equip educators with tools and strategies to ensure their students are validated when they come to the classroom or screen.

We hope to see you there,
Shelly and Will

Will Tolliver and Shelly Bautista

Will Tolliver and Shelly Bautista Early Learning Champions

You might hear Shelly Bautista singing a familiar PBS KIDS song in her kindergarten class at Carson Street Elementary School in Los Angeles, California: “I like you...just the way you are!” Working as a teacher and instructional leader in a low-income neighborhood where at least 85% of students are English language learners, Shelly’s positive outlook for both students and teachers is a light to all she works with. She is passionate about developing young learners and supporting them in reaching their full potential. Shelly has worked with PBS SoCal’s STEM Parent Academy and the Family and Community Learning Workshops on classroom instruction. She has also been an innovator in her field by integrating media and technology into classroom learning, including the Ready To Learn and PBS KIDS learning resources. Shelly approaches her job each day striving to be the best educational leader for her school and community.

Will Tolliver Jr. is a Pittsburgh based leader, innovator, and change-maker recognized throughout the education community as an Early Learning Expert. Will holds a B.A. in Environmental Studies with a minor in Anthropology and Community and Justice Studies from Allegheny College. The environment, communities, and our future leaders inspire him to ignite new perspectives around the globe. Will has contributed to various projects and lent his skills to grant writing, project implementation and management, curriculum development, event planning, tutoring and mentoring, and incubating new innovations. He has worked with organizations like PBS, Children's Museum of Pittsburgh, and PAEYC to move the mission forward for children. Will’s goal is to share his passion for the environment, education, and social justice with everyone he encounters and to share stories of those who have been denied a voice.

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