Social and Emotional Specialists hired to help students in Davis County Schools

Published: Nov. 1, 2021 at 10:36 PM CDT
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BLOOMFIELD, Iowa (KYOU) - In recent years, faculty at Davis County Community School District have noticed the need for Social and Emotional Specialists for the students. Now, they have hired their first few Social and Emotional Learning Specialists for the different schools in the district.

Becky Zesiger is the Director of Instruction for the Davis County Community School District. She says the new hires are to help teachers who are overwhelmed with students’ needs while also trying to teach. “All of the needs kids had academic needs and behavior and social and emotional needs, and so we were looking for more ways to provide more.”

Ashley Tuvera who is the Social and Emotional Learning Specialist at the elementary school says, right now she is working with kids in whole group sessions. She teaches them how to recognize their emotions on charts to help kids visualize what they feel. “Things like empathy understanding your feelings how to deal with those, we are also working on some mindfulness.”

While working with the students, Tuvera says she noticed more kids spend time with their faces in a phone rather than communicating. “Dealing with first generations of students that haven’t known anything other than the smartphone. So, there is just a big change and shift in our culture that I think is happening right now. We are trying to find ways to continue to help them and support them while we navigate kind of this new era.”

Kristy Miller who is the Student’s Success Coordinator for the elementary school says, 10-years-ago the social and emotional problems would not have been as much of a problem as they are now. “More common to see kids struggle with social and emotional things there are a lot of reasons for that, I agree with Ashley that the smartphone is a huge part of that.”

When looking to the future, Miller says by taking the time to address these needs and help students understand their emotions, they hope the kids will feel more confident and know they have the tools to help them navigate through life.

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