What is Social-Emotional Learning (SEL)?

Social-emotional learning (SEL) is a relatively new approach to teaching and learning in the classroom. The goal of social-emotional learning is to teach students how to better understand their emotions, set goals for themselves, control their impulses, build relationships with others, and solve problems. Integrating social-emotional skills into the curriculum not only helps students succeed academically but also prepares them for life outside of school.

Social and emotional learning is the process of improving self-awareness, self-control, and social and interpersonal skills that are critical for school, employment, and personal success.

Strong social-emotional skills help people manage everyday problems and achieve academically, professionally, and socially. SEL gives a basis for long-term positive outcomes on children, adults, and communities with skills such as problem-solving, self-discipline, impulse control, emotion management, and more.

What are some benefits of Social-Emotional Learning?

  • Improved academic performance
  • Increased attendance rates
  • Decreased suspensions
  • Decreased dropout rates
  • Enhanced critical thinking skills
  • Better decision-making skills
  • More confidence, motivation to learn
  • Higher grades in core classes when SEL is integrated into the curriculum
  • SEL helps teachers create caring school communities that are better prepared to support children’s emotional

How do we implement social-emotional skills in our classrooms?

SEL programs and curricula: There are a variety of ways to integrate SEL into your classroom. From creating lesson plans to using existing curricular materials, these learning opportunities provide teachers with the tools they need to teach social-emotional skills in a non-threatening way.

What can parents do at home to help children develop these skills?

  • Spend time doing things together
  • Eat dinner as a family regularly
  • Encourage reading and writing
  • Read books that portray positive social-emotional scenarios

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