More than a program

“Social Emotional Learning (SEL) is a culture to create, not just a program to buy.”

Dedra Stafford

SEL is more than our school’s advisory and Second Step program. Our long term goal is for us to become a school where all teachers will be able to say “We are a SEL cultured school!”, where SEL is embedded in the entire school, in all classes everyday.

SEL is not “just” soft-skills or “just” non-cognitive skills. Rather, SEL teaches students THRIVE skills, which increases personal and school success and growth. Benefits of SEL for students include:

  • Using mindfulness strategies to help students tap their inner strengths.
  • Learn to self regulate and control other executive brain functions
  • Developing growth mindsets along with perseverance and resilience
  • Cultivating a sense of responsibility, honesty, and integrity
  • Encouraging a capacity for empathy and gratitude

All of the above mentioned benefits will not develop overnight and it will definitely not develop if it is not taught. Therefore, it is important we make the time for SEL and our advisory program is just the first step.

You have all heard it many times… RELATIONSHIPS ARE WHERE IT IS AT! And in this day and age, where our students (and even some of us adults) are glued to their screens, the personal connections are definitely lacking. Students may not tell us they want it, but they want our undivided focused attention and that has always been the case.

A small change can sometimes make a huge impact. Here are a few small ways you can enhance your relationships with your students:

  • Be that person on campus who notices when a student is absent. When a student returns to school, ask the student how they are, state that you’re happy to see them back. Let the student know that you noticed when he/she was not here.
  • During the greeting at the door, ask a student to join you and have the student help you greet everyone and everyone will also greet the student. This will ensure that this student is acknowledged.

Both of these small acts can help a student feel more connected at school and one never knows what a big impact that may have on a student.

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