In February of 2020, we launched the new website Greater Good in Education, a collection of free, research-based and -informed strategies and practices for the social, emotional, and ethical development of students, for the well-being of the adults who work with them, and for cultivating positive school cultures. Little did we know how much more crucial these resources would become over the course of the year during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Now, as we head back to school in 2021, things are looking a lot different than in past years. Our most popular education articles of 2020 can help you manage difficult emotions and other challenges at school in the pandemic, all while supporting the social-emotional well-being of your students.

In addition to these articles, you can also find tips, tools, and recommended readings in two resource guides we created in 2020: Supporting Learning and Well-Being During the Coronavirus Crisis and Resources to Support Anti-Racist Learning, which helps educators take action to undo the racism within themselves, encourage their colleagues to do the same, and teach and support their students in forming anti-racist identities.

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Here are the 10 best education articles of 2020, based on a composite ranking of pageviews and editors’ picks.

Can the Lockdown Push Schools in a Positive Direction?, by Patrick Cook-Deegan: Here are five ways that COVID-19 could change education for the better.

How Teachers Can Navigate Difficult Emotions During School Closures, by Amy L. Eva: Here are some tools for staying calm and centered amid the coronavirus crisis.

Six Online Activities to Help Students Cope With COVID-19, by Lea Waters: These well-being practices can help students feel connected and resilient during the pandemic.

Help Students Process COVID-19 Emotions With This Lesson Plan, by Maurice Elias: Music and the arts can help students transition back to school this year.

How to Teach Online So All Students Feel Like They Belong, by Becki Cohn-Vargas and Kathe Gogolewski: Educators can foster belonging and inclusion for all students, even online.

How Teachers Can Help Students With Special Needs Navigate Distance Learning, by Rebecca Branstetter: Kids with disabilities are often shortchanged by pandemic classroom conditions. Here are three tips for educators to boost their engagement and connection.

How to Reduce the Stress of Homeschooling on Everyone, by Rebecca Branstetter: A school psychologist offers advice to parents on how to support their child during school closures.

Three Ways to Help Your Kids Succeed at Distance Learning, by Christine Carter: How can parents support their children at the start of an uncertain school year?

How Schools Are Meeting Social-Emotional Needs During the Pandemic, by Frances Messano, Jason Atwood, and Stacey Childress: A new report looks at how schools have been grappling with the challenges imposed by COVID-19.

Six Ways to Help Your Students Make Sense of a Divisive Election, by Julie Halterman: The election is over, but many young people will need help understanding what just happened.


Train Your Brain to Be Kinder (video), by Jane Park: Boost your kindness by sending kind thoughts to someone you love—and to someone you don’t get along with—with a little guidance from these students.

From Othering to Belonging (podcast): We speak with john a. powell, director of the Othering & Belonging Institute, about racial justice, well-being, and widening our circles of human connection and concern.

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