We know that in this age of working remotely, teachers are not only juggling teaching students and interacting with parents, they’re also continuing the behind-the-scenes role of teaching – lesson planning, grading, uploading documents and of course engaging in team and faculty meetings. While much of this work is stressful, meetings don’t have to be.

Consider adding a social emotional component to the start of your next online meeting. How? There are tons of simple ways. Here are a few ideas, or come up with your own!

  • Start with a simple breathing practice by asking everyone to mute their microphone and close their eyes (they can also disable their camera). Then lead everyone through a short mindful moment, asking them to breathe in and out slowly, or call attention to a sound or particular feeling in their body. Then slowly ask them to re-open their eyes and begin the meeting.
  • Start with a quick prompt that everyone on the call answers in two sentences or less. This can also be done using the chat feature for larger groups if time is a concern. For example:
  • If you had to pick a color to describe how you are feeling today, what color would it be and why?
  • Choose five words to describe your feelings today
  • Name one positive and one challenge about working from home
  • Tell us the highlight of your day yesterday
  • Lead the group in a physical mindful movement such as stretching or a breathing activity paired with movement. This is particularly helpful if the meeting is in the afternoon or takes place after you know everyone has been seated and working for a significant amount of time.

These are just a few quick ideas for how to start meetings but feel free to tailor to your setting. The ultimate goal is that everyone feels a sense of calm and connection during this time. 

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