The importance and need for SEL in every classroom and school
Intended Audience: K-12 all educators and admin
The question is no longer whether or not SEL improves academic performance (CASEL research) but how we as educators can seamlessly incorporate it into our day. As an in the trenches teacher of over 29 years, I can say with certainty that building a classroom community and incorporating the principles of social-emotional learning into daily practice and planning is a proactive and preventative way to establish a learning environment that promotes taking risks and quality learning.Students do their best learning when they feel safe, connected, reflected,and cared about at school.
Rising needs in the classroom; increased behavior and anxiety.
Our classrooms are changing. The past two years have only exacerbated the already increasing behaviors and rising rates of anxiety and mental health issues in our schools. As a result, there is a need for strategies that support educators in integrating social and emotional pedagogy into their day to day practice. The goals of creating a classroom community, raising effective communicators with strong relationship skills, and helping students to be self and socially aware with the ability to make responsible decisions are more important than ever.
Teachers are overwhelmed and feel they can’t possibly add any more to their plate.
Educators are tired. The pandemic and rising demands have taken a toll on all of us. How do we meet our responsibilities to be inclusive, culturally responsive, sensitive to the possible trauma and mental health of allstudents under our care while still delivering quality curriculum and maintaining high academic standards?The truth is that if we don’t attend to the social-emotional needs of our students all else is diluted or lost.Students will not take risks or do their best learning unless they feel safe and connected in their environment.
SEL: the foundation to academic success.
On a theoretical level, we can understand and agree that we need to tend to the social emotional needs before children can tackle academics. But many educators require explicit instructions on how to lay and maintain a strong SEL foundation so that it supports other learning areas. We can’t assume that it is just something teachers inherently know how to do; we need to spend time breaking down the how.
How do we build a community in a classroom?
How do we weave SEL into daily practices?
And how do we do it ina way that doesn’t feel like a perpetual add-on?