Create Safe, Connected Classrooms with Social-Emotional Learning

The following is a resource list for our community written by Flipgrid Educator Innovation Lead Jess Boyce.

In today’s world of disrupted routines and new classroom models, connecting on a personal level is more important than ever. Social-emotional learning (SEL) can make a meaningful difference for your students.


Relationships and community are at the heart of SEL, rather than subject matter. When I taught sixth grade math, I first made sure my students knew their classmates and I cared about and understood them. Once those relationships were built, and my students trusted they were safe, the rest followed — including their math knowledge. 


Students need to know that their classmates and teacher care about them in order to be successful in the classroom. Once relationships are built and students trust that they are safe, the rest will follow.


SEL can take many forms, but keeping it non-academic, offering insights into each other’s worlds, and allowing everyone’s voice to be shared (in whatever way is comfortable) are all great places to start. Here are a few other things you might want to try:


Create a safe place for students to share

Moderation within Flipgrid allows you to choose to have videos go directly to you as the educator, and then you can decide if you’d like to activate them for the rest of the class. This creates a space where students feel more comfortable sharing. 


California STEAM educator Eric Garcia created “My Inbox,” where his elementary students can share whatever they want with him, and it’s always private. Students feel they are being heard, no matter what. Moderated Topics can be used at any grade level by guidance counselors or for office hours with university professors. It’s a safe place to share a private message anytime. 

Take the pressure off being on camera

While Flipgrid was created to allow ALL students to share their voice, not everyone is comfortable in front of a camera. That’s why Mic Only Mode was introduced. Students record their voice without the camera on while still using fun and creative effects like emojis and filters.

You can have students try out some of the creative camera features like Pixel Mode or Stickers. Ann Kozma’s fun “Guess Who” Topic from the Discovery Library is a fun example of how the camera effects can be used. Check out more ideas for the Camera Shy!

Check in and engage often

At the beginning of the year/term, you can have students introduce themselves. Taking a small step to get to know your students (and how to pronounce their names!) is so meaningful when building classroom community.


Check-ins at any point of the year are a great way to make sure your students are doing well and to remind them you are here for them! Sometimes just asking how your students are doing can make all the difference, especially when you can’t always see each other in person.

Lean on the community for resources

Our community is full of great ideas, so you don’t have to struggle to come up with something that will work for your classroom. The Discovery Library has over 30,000 ready-to-launch Topics you can use in your own Groups! Simply search by audience, subject, or keyword and add the Topic. There is also a collection specific to SEL, but you can create your own collections that suit you!

When students feel supported emotionally, everything else falls into place. Keep your SEL ideas coming, and for more ideas and inspiration, check out Fresh Flipgrid Ideas for the latest from our global community.