What exactly is SEL?
In the world of education, unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you’ve been hearing more and more about social emotional learning or the well-known acronym, “SEL”! But what exactly is it, and why is it so darn important “all the sudden”?!
By definition, social emotional learning (SEL) is the process through which children and adults understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions (CASEL). Simply put, SEL lays the groundwork for our kids to develop healthy relationships, have a better sense of how their thoughts and behaviors influence others and generally learn how to be successful human beings.
SEL isn’t new by any stretch…Mister Rogers and Sesame Street have done an amazing job of helping preschoolers learn some of the basic principles. However; once students enter school, our system historically has been ultra-focused on academics and testing. While we all want our kids to succeed academically, we have to start focusing more on student well-being and overall school climate to set students up for overall success.
SEL finally grabbed the attention of legislators and policymakers in recent months, as there is a growing need to better understand terrible tragedies, such as school shootings. Questions around how to keep our students safe has become a national priority. On the journey to figuring out how to prevent school violence from happening in the first place, social emotional learning has been rising to the top as one of the important few topics being seriously discussed around the table.
As educators, it’s imperative we understand the value and power SEL has to build critical skills from the start. By integrating social emotional learning into everyday academic curriculum, we can create a positive school climate, establish healthier relationships, provide tools and coping skills students need throughout life, make connections between life skills and careers, create a safer environment and teach students their responsibility to one another and to a community!
-Linsey Covert, CEO & Founder, TEAMology, LLC
Our program turns the “one-off” anti-bullying assembly, or “kindness week” into an every day occurence. Students are reminded daily what behaviors are appropriate and how to work better together. With our program, students learn that they can grow as individuals and hone their skills while still being an incredibly important member of the “team”.
Find out more by going to our homepage, or contact us for more information. We also have professional development available if you’d like to expand your SEL toolkit in your classroom.