Friday, September 2, 2016

Socially and Emotionally Learning

I. Love. School. Counseling. 

10 months out of the year I get to do direct services: talk to kids, work with teachers, and form relationships with parents. BUT for 8 quick weeks during the summer, I get to do my other passion: INdirect services for children!

I feel incredibly thankful to work for the Monique Burr Foundation, a nonprofit bully and abuse prevention organization, for students in grades K-6th. This little organization has opened my eyes to a whole other world of supporting children, and between you and me... I really.. really like it!

My role this past summer was to research social emotional learning (SEL) for a new middle school curriculum they are creating. 

CASEL ("Collaborative for Academic, Social, Emotional Learning") gave me a great foundation for what SEL is, and what research says about it.

According to CASEL, SEL is broken down into 5 major components:
  • Social awareness
  • Relationship skills 
  • Decision making
  • Self awareness
  • Self management

These 5 topics encapsulate the 18 executive skills that we learn and use throughout our life (but can usually grasp by the time we are 24). Many of these we teach during character education, such as attention, organization, self-regulation, task initiation, empathy, impulse control, and time management. 

When we teach these important life lessons, a few things happen:

  • Better academic performance- Making teachers happy
  • Increased attitudes and behaviors-Making Mom and Dad happy
  • Less negative behaviors- Making administration happy
  • Decrease in emotional distress- Making counselors happy
The most important- ALL of these make kids lives more fulfilling and all around easier to navigate their way through life. 

As you start to teach your character lessons this year, it could be helpful to keep these in mind. I am going to use the 5 components as structure to teach my own lessons, and I hope you will too!

Happy planning,

Your Floridian Chick!