Spotlight on Lower School SEED: “Behind My Mask” Lesson Teaches Students about Emotions

For Lower School SEED teacher Betsy Leschinsky, helping young students learn how to recognize and manage emotions is a key part of what she teaches. This can be particularly challenging in the time of COVID-19.

“We’re used to reading emotions on people’s faces,” she says, “and that can be hard to do when we’re all wearing masks.” Her “Behind My Mask” unit was designed to help students uncover the feelings that people might not see when we wear masks, as well as some of the characteristics and interests that define us.

In Shipley’s Social Emotional Ethical Development curriculum in the Lower School, students as young as four years old begin to learn about the relationship between their emotions and their behaviors. As students grow, they are exposed to increasingly complex and developmentally appropriate concepts like emotional regulation, conflict resolution, inclusive behavior, and more.

These skills are an integral piece of Shipley’s definition of Educational Excellence, which links student achievement with the ability of individuals and the community to flourish. To learn more about our approach, read about Educational Excellence at Shipley.


The Shipley School is a private, coeducational day school for pre-kindergarten through 12th grade students, located in Bryn Mawr, PA. Through our commitment to educational excellence, we develop within each student a love of learning and a desire for compassionate participation in the world.