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New UTEP course helps future educators prepare for post-Covid classrooms

EL PASO, Texas -- As schools across the Borderland continue to transition to in-person learning, UTEP is hoping to help future educators transition to a post Covid classroom.

ECED (Early Childhood Education) 4300: Responsive Classroom Management focuses on how to address the social and emotional needs of students. 

The course, which launched this semester, helps student-teachers with different techniques on how to create an environment that best fits the needs of the students.

"We started seeing a greater need to really address the social emotional aspect of not just how we treat children, but also how we treat teachers, and then also how we treat principals and administration because it all trickles down," said Jessica Slade, Ph.D., assistant professor of practice in UTEP's Department of Teacher Education.

Slade, who helped develop the course, said future and current teachers will need to address the social and emotional well-being of students first.

"If (students) don't feel safe emotionally, then it doesn't matter what we do academically."

Slade is also helping Pre-K teachers and administrators at Bill Childress Elementary School in Canutillo ISD.

They work on how to help students adapt to the new environment.

"Time is not something you can rush, you know, you have to take that time. And once that foundation is set, then those children are going to thrive," Slade said.

This semester, students are also required to reach out to current educators and hear about their experience now that students officially returned to the classroom since the pandemic began.

Slade said she hopes to get as much data and feedback this semester in order to make the course better.

To learn more, click here.

Brianna Chavez

Brianna Chavez is an ABC-7 reporter/producer.

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