Spanish-Language Songs Meet Students Where They Are
By Kristin Clark Taylor
Teaching Social and Emotional Learning is like cooking up a special meal; certain ingredients are required. What goes into this recipe? Intention. Effort. Resources. And definitive action, of course. Lots and lots of action.
QuaverSEL, with the introduction of their colorful new Spanish-language songs, has set the intention, made the effort, designed the resources, and taken definitive action to help educators teach SEL on a new level, and it’s having a tremendously positive impact.
Stacy Redding, a music specialist at Mary McLeod Bethune Elementary in Dallas, Texas, is excited about the new Spanish-language songs.
“Every child wants to feel good about themselves and to be able to understand and communicate their emotions,” she says. “That’s what SEL is really all about, isn’t it? When my students sing ‘You-Nique’ in Spanish, they’re singing about how much they love themselves!”
Stacy, who says her school’s student population is over 90% Hispanic, says “Expressing emotion is challenging, especially with my little ones. Being able to use the Emotion Soundboard in Spanish helps them process and identify their emotions in their native language. I see their little faces light up.”
Jamie Contreras, Assistant Principal at Bethune Elementary, has observed Stacy’s use of QuaverSEL resources and is very happy with what he sees.
“Mrs. Redding has made cross-curricular, real-world application SEL practices a priority in her classroom. When our world was shaken by COVID-19, she personally took her SEL practices to new levels. It is clear that the SEL well-being of her students is a priority,” Contreras says.
Indeed, Quaver’s SEL curriculum creates a bridge that teachers and counselors can traverse in order to arrive at a single destination. It’s a bridge that leads to the social and emotional well-being of all students.
Norma Luna, a counselor at Smith Elementary in Houston, Texas, has crossed that bridge, too. She uses Quaver’s Spanish and English-language resources to reach, teach, counsel, calm, and comfort her students.
“Being able to check in with my students and gauge where they are emotionally is critical,” Luna says. “During my ‘Lunch Bunch’ sessions, these resources help me focus my students on not just what they’re learning but what they’re feeling.”
“Honoring cultural awareness is an appropriate and respectful way to really allow students to explore and express their emotions,” Norma says. “We’re very lucky to have these resources at our disposal; these are just the SEL tools we need.”
QuaverSEL — and the extraordinary educators who utilize these resources – work together, hand-in-hand, to make sure SEL unfolds in the classroom, the counselor’s office, and even at home. The ingredients are all there.
Call it the perfect recipe.
Kristin Clark Taylor is an author and a journalist.