A Social Reintegration Podcast Series
with teacher and curriculum designer, Katrina Waidelich
Katrina Waidelich (she/her) has worked in education for 14 years as a teacher, curriculum designer, and trainer. Katrina has dedicated her career to developing authentic, relationship based experiences in conjunction with high academic standards. She centers her classroom on empathy and understanding, challenging students and educators to be open to hearing new stories, and sharing their own. Katrina supports educators in the integration of technology, development of student centered practices, integration of social-emotional learning, and cross-curricular planning. Katrina serves as an education ally to marginalized populations by serving on her district’s Equity and Inclusion Committee, adopting restorative justice practices, and amplifying historically underrepresented voices in curriculum. In her free time, Katrina spends time cultivating her relationships with nature, her family, and her community.
From the conversation: "This, you know, move towards isolation has been happening for years, it's nothing new. And I think of it as there's a physical isolation, a mental isolation and a social isolation. Basically, I see it in the classroom with students and their devices, they are it during conversation on the phone, not making that physical eye contact. I've been seeing that for years, emotionally, I think students, they respect each other, but they have a hesitancy to be vulnerable with each other, and really be authentic. And so there's that emotional isolation that's been happening, which then leads to social isolation, they're a little hesitant to, you know, branch outside their group or branch outside and, you know, try to meet new friends and whatnot. So I've been seeing it kind of brewing, but obviously, the pandemic just, you know, exasperated it."
For more than the past year, we've told kids that being close to each other is dangerous- literally.
Now, it's time to start reintegrating back to school, sports, and other activities, but it's not as smooth or as seamless as you might think.
There's a lot going on.
On top of that, kids today are growing up in a world of ubiquitous cellphone usage and screens- face to face socialization has been on a decline for years.
There's a lot for concern.
The primary way teenagers grow is through healthy peer relationships. They learn about themselves and how the world works and what's most important in life as they journey together, shoulder to shoulder, face to face.
But when a lot of kids are carrying heightened anxiety about being together, and fewer kids in general have adept social skills, it's time to rethink how we support kids in building relationships.
So welcome to our limited podcast series on Social Reintegration, where we interview educators and practitioners to discover best practices and common sense tools for anyone who has a kid in their life.
Welcome to the YouSchool.
Also, we have a simple, interactive mini-course you can share with your kids, no matter how old they are. Oh, and, it's free.