Meet the Teacher


Make the Time for SEL {Social Emotional Learning}

It is summer and it is time to reflect and make decisions for next year. I just completed my 24th year of teaching.  A lot has changed since I began.  There are new, rigorous standards.  School shootings are becoming more common.  Parents and children seem less connected due to the increase in technology.  Atypical behaviors in the general education classroom are becoming more typical. 

What I believe has not changed.  I believe in teaching the whole child.  I think relationships are the most important part of teaching.  I know that children learn best and are willing to take risks when they feel cared for and loved.  Students need to feel like they belong to the classroom community.  I believe that no learning will take place if a child’s social emotional needs are met.  That is why I think that SEL {Social Emotional Learning} is imperative.

growth mindset, self awareness for kids, self management teaching ideas

I refer to The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning {CASEL} when I want to know about social emotional learning. 
The most current research shows that SEL is not only vital to students’ development, but also to their academic, social, personal, and professional success (J. L. Mahoney, J. A. Durlak, and R. P. Weissberg, 2018). CASEL cites that having high-quality SEL instruction improves student achievement scores by an average of 13 percentile points. Moreover, having a greater proficiency can result in students being more prepared for life as adults from college and career success to better mental health and more engaged citizenship (R. Taylor, E Oberle, J Durlak, R Weissberg, 2017).
 This study also revealed a lack of SEL instruction consistently correlated with an increased chance of unemployment, criminal behavior, and  poor health.
Social and emotional learning (SEL) enhances students’ capacity to integrate skills, attitudes, and behaviors to deal effectively and ethically with daily tasks and challenges. Like many similar frameworks, CASEL’s integrated framework promotes intrapersonal, interpersonal, and cognitive competence. There are five core competencies that can be taught in many ways across many settings.
The five competencies are:
1.          Self awareness: The ability to accurately recognize one’s own emotions, thoughts, and values and how they influence behavior.
2.        Self-management: The ability to successfully regulate one’s emotions, thoughts, and behaviors in different situations effectively managing stress, controlling impulses, and motivating oneself.
3.        Social awareness: The ability to take the perspective of and empathize with others, including those from diverse backgrounds and cultures.
4.        Relationship skills: The ability to establish and maintain healthy and rewarding relationships with diverse individuals and groups.
5.        Responsible decision making: The ability to make constructive choices about personal behavior and social interactions based on ethical standards, safety concerns, and social norms.
How can you incorporate SEL into your day when they already have so much to teach?  
To me, this is an integral part of teaching. This can be weaved into everything you teach. All learning hits one of the five competencies.  Whether it’s persisting through an assignment, working with peers, asking for help, avoiding distractions instead ofjoining them, communication skills the list goes on and on. 
If you are like me, you appreciate a curriculum to help you stay on track and make sure you cover it all. 
That is why I created Social Emotional Learning Curriculum.  It is easy to use, comprehensive, and covers all 5 SEL competencies.  Teaching about social skills and emotions in a safe caring classroom will help your students immensely.  They will learn how to sit with uncomfortable feelings and how to express them appropriately.   Negative, unproductive behaviors will decrease.  Your students will gain coping skills.  Their self esteem will grow and so much more.  It only takes  10-15 minutes a day and the benefits will last a lifetime.
Maybe you already have a SEL program at your school.  Head on over to my YouTube channel to find videos that I use when teaching social emotional learning. Check out my Amazon page for a ton of SEL picture books if you are looking to supplement what you are already doing. My Amazon page are all affiliate links which means I get a few coins when you purchase from my Amazon page.  Thank you so much for supporting my blog!

SEL curriculum

I’ve just posted the first unit, Self Awareness, on Tpt.  This unit would fit in perfectly at the beginning of the year.  Students will learn how to be ready to learn, pay attention, be a good listener, avoid distractions and follow directions.  Then, they will learn about a growth mindset, the power of “yet” and positive self talk. Finally, they will learn about feelings.  You will teach about identifying emotions, recognizing them in others, express emotions appropriately and self-regulation.

The second unit will delve into self-management and go deeper into self regulation, mindfulness, respect, and goal setting. 
The third unit will teach all about empathy, compassion, perspective taking, kindness and courage.
Relationships will be the focus of the fourth unit.  Students will learn about communication, relationship building, teamwork, manners and friendship.
The final unit will dive into responsible decision making, ethical responsibility, leadership, problem solving and safety.

SEL curriculum

 The bundle is scheduled to be done by the end of August.  
Be sure to check out my blog post all about Calm Down Kits - an essential tool in any classroom!

Happy teaching!

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