Morning Meeting Hack: The Language of Emotions


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I am obsessed with self-development and personal growth-I’m sure so many fellow teachers can relate. My morning needs to start with journaling (and avoiding social media). Less caffeine makes me function better and think more clearly. And I know that I find balance in my life when I am able to express myself in healthy ways.

Sarah Besand, a teacher and Possip Reporter, shares ways teachers can integrate SEL into their morning meetings. 

With the steady rise of Social Emotional Learning (SEL), most teachers know the research behind it and can list many best practices as well. However, it can be challenging to provide time for learning and meaningful practice into the school day’s hustle and bustle.

How can we fit it all in?

As a current educator myself, I grapple with this. I can often feel I am still striving to build the classroom community I desire when I am trying to maximize my time with the resources I have.  Sometimes as teachers we can feel overwhelmed–in a good way–with the multitude of fabulous resources we do have! But on the flip side, the abyss of planning without guidance can leave us feeling in the dark too.

In the midst of my own self growth journey, I read Brené Brown’s latest book and began to embrace a new perspective on teaching SEL. This book, Atlas of the Heart, focuses on helping readers understand the complex language of emotions. Brown’s research shows that humans experience up to 87 different emotions and her book unpacks the nuance in each of them. For example, I learned about the slight differences between emotions like envy and jealousy, happiness and joyfulness, and shame and blame. I found myself communicating better with those around me while absorbing the book’s concepts. 

That’s when the thought struck me… this knowledge could be life-changing for students.