Educators around the globe are adapting to a new method of teaching and learning. Prioritizing social emotional learning in the absence of the classroom environment can be a challenge. We’re here to provide strategies teachers can implement from their homes that can help build upon social emotional work done during the school year.

You may be familiar with the concept of “box breathing”. In this method of mindful breathing, you can trace a box with your fingers. As you trace, you breathe in for four seconds along one side of the box, hold your breath for four seconds, breathe out for four seconds, and then hold for four seconds.

Many people use an imaginary box in the air, but you can also use a box on a sheet of paper, the outline of a square object, a box made of tape on the wall, or any other box. You know what else makes a box? The outline of a video chat!

During remote learning, some of our teachers have led students through virtual box breathing by asking students to trace the outline of their box on whatever video platform they’re using. As they trace, the whole class breathes in for four seconds, holds for four, breathes out for four, and holds for four. After the breathing, everyone is calm and ready to dive into the conversation. This is a quick and simple adaptation of a breathing practice that students can do from home, and as a bonus, helps family members who may be joining the video chat to see an example of a breathing strategy they can continue to use at home.

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