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Social emotional learning (SEL) is a process through which people build awareness and skills in managing emotions, setting goals, establishing relationships and making responsible decisions that support success in school and in life.
SEL is an intentional approach to building student assets and emphasizing development of the whole child. SEL supports educational equity and can function as a key protective factor for all students.
Framework and guiding principles
- SEL implementation starts with capacity building.
- SEL requires collaboration between families, educators, community partners, and young people in its design and imple- mentation.
- Washington State SEL is shaped by a commitment to the following four guiding principles:
- Equity: Each child receives what he or she needs to develop his or her full potential.
- Culturally responsive: Culture is viewed as a resource for learning, not a barrier.
- Universal design: Learning differences are planned for and accommodated.
- Trauma informed: Knowledge of the effects of trauma is integrated into policy and practice.
What does Washington State require?
Beginning January 2020, the Washington State Legislature requires teacher and principal preparation programs to ensure candidates can recognize signs of emotional or behavioral distress in students and appropriately refer students for assistance and support. RCW 28A.410.270, RCW 28A.410.273, Program Standards 2.C.vii, WAC 181-78A-232(3)(g)
The guidance provided to candidates must include:
- Washington State social emotional learning standards and benchmarks. These are student standards and include:
- Social awareness
- Social management
- Social efficacy
- Related competencies such as trauma-informed practices, consideration of adverse childhood experiences, mental health literacy, anti-bullying strategies, and culturally sustaining practices.
Why is social emotional learning important?
- SEL promotes important school outcomes including improved academic achievement for students.
- SEL reduces toxic teacher stress and improves teacher retention rates.
- SEL increases positive life outcomes, including improved graduation rates and employment prospects for students.
- SEL improves school climate and school safety.
Entry points for teacher preparation program providers
Although there are multiple evidence-based SEL programs that support student development, most recognize that one of the first steps in implementing any SEL program is to focus on adult social and emotional skills. To model and encourage positive student interactions, teachers themselves need the social and emotional skills required to communicate effectively with students and to handle stressful situations that can occur in classrooms.
- Relationships matter. Preparation program providers should model positive relationship building between faculty, faculty and candidates, and candidates. Program leaders should demonstrate how to draw from the diverse cultures and backgrounds of the faculty and candidates.
- Context matters. Individuals use their social emotional skills depending on the context in which they find themselves. Program leaders should create environments that support the application and further development of each adult’s own culturally responsive social emotional competencies, including opportunities to practice all six of the Washington State standards.
- Knowledge of self matters. Program leaders and faculty should begin by developing their own SEL competencies and reflecting on how their own experiences and cultural background impact their work as an educator. Program faculty should model and discuss the metacognitive processes involved in self-regulation and social interactions with candidates through a continuous cycle of learning and self-reflection.
- Community engagement matters. Collaborating with families, community members and organizations is foundational to implementing SEL at any level. Program leaders and faculty should model and discuss authentic community engagement to prepare pre-service teachers to enact culturally sustaining,
- Awareness of current SEL work matters. Program faculty should learn about the current SEL work in Washington State by familiarizing themselves with the standards, benchmarks, indicators, and guiding principles. Program leaders should also explore ways SEL work can be embedded throughout coursework and fieldwork.
- Theory-to-practice connections matter. Candidates should have opportunities to discuss how they observe SEL being implemented by individual classroom teachers and in school buildings through specific SEL programs and through integrated approaches. Program leaders should also prepare field instructors and mentor teachers to be able to facilitate targeted observation of and reflection on structures that support SEL, including academic lessons, everyday classroom routines, participation structures, explicit conversations about SEL, and more. 5 Candidates should be given opportunities to practice embedding SEL skill instruction into lesson design and implementation.
- Leadership matters. Program leaders should assemble a team of diverse stakeholders to advance the work of integrating SEL into the program. The team can reflect together on why the work is important and envision a future of what SEL looks like for their program. This includes setting goals, allocating staff time and resources, participating in professional learning, determining how outcomes are assessed, and identifying strategies for how to sustain momentum over time.
Entry points for principal preparation program providers
Build faculty SEL competency
- Relationships matter. Preparation program providers can model positive relationship-building among faculty and candidates. Program leaders should demonstrate how to draw from the diverse cultures and backgrounds of the candidates to prepare them to enact culturally sustaining and equitable leadership practices.
- Context matters. Individuals use their social emotional skills depending on the context in which they find themselves. Program leaders should create environments that support application and further development of adults’ own culturally responsive social emotional competencies, including opportunities to practice all six of the Washington State standards.
- Knowledge of self matters. Program leaders and faculty should begin with developing their own SEL competencies. They should also reflect on how their experiences and cultural background impact their work as a principal educator.
- Awareness of current SEL work matters. Program faculty should learn about the current SEL work in Washington State by exploring the standards, benchmarks, indicators, and guiding principles. Program leaders should also explore ways SEL work can be embedded throughout coursework and practicum experiences.
- Embed social and emotional learning into coursework. Washington State’s SEL standards are directly connected to numerous NELP building level standards. View the crosswalk document.
- Embed authentic social and emotional learning into principal internship experiences. Authentic internship opportunities should include experiences that improve the candidates’ own social and emotional competencies, and experiences facilitating social and emotional growth in others. Candidates should also gain experience in school-wide systems to promote social and emotional learning.
- Develop equity-focused and culturally sustaining social and emotional learning coursework and internship experiences. Coursework and internship experiences may include a focus on whole-child development and/or strengthening student and adult relationships for all students.
- Emphasize family and community connections. Social and emotional learning is a collaborative and intercultural process. Coursework and internship experiences should prepare principal candidates to establish meaningful partnerships with families and communities to promote culturally sustaining SEL.
Resources for educator preparation programs
Educator preparation program SEL implementation briefs
- Washington State principal preparation program SEL implementation brief
- Washington State teacher preparation program SEL implementation brief
Standards and crosswalks
- Washington State Social Emotional Learning (SEL) standards and benchmarks
- NELP building standards and SEL standards crosswalk
- InTASC standards and SEL standards crosswalk
SEL and educator support resources
- Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction’s (OSPI) social emotional learning (SEL)webpage includes guidance, resources, and multiple links to collective funds of knowledge on SEL such as:
- American Institutes for Research (AIR) offers a SEL Coaching Toolkit for instructional coaches, administrators, and district leaders who support teachers/staff in integrating SEL into their daily instructional practices.
- Center for Reaching and Teaching the Whole Child (CRTWC) offers a framework for integrating social, emotional, and cultural competencies into P-12 pre-service teacher preparation.
- Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL) is the leading national source for research and resources related to SEL in schools and communities and offers many valuable resources for educators, such as:
- CASEL Guide to Schoolwide SEL: Guidance for systemic SEL implementation in schools
- Focus on the Classroom: How to foster supportive classroom environments that engage in explicit SEL and integrate SEL throughout instruction
- Focus on Family Partnerships: How to create meaningful partnership opportunities and two-way communication that invite families to understand, experience, inform, and support the social and emotional development of their students.
- CASEL CARES Initiative Resources: Resources designed to support educators, parents, and anyone who works with children during the COVID 19 pandemic.
Identifying signs of emotional or behavioral distress in students, and referral process resources
- OSPI trauma informed schools and adverse childhood experiences resources
- OSPI mental, social, and behavioral health resources
- OSPI youth suicide prevention, intervention, & postvention
Resources available on related competencies
Adverse childhood experiences
- Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) resources from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Center for Youth Wellness
- Washington State Department of Health
- CASEL resources on mental health, trauma, and well-being
- Stop bullying.gov
- Bullying prevention and intervention: information for educators
- A framework for school-wide bullying prevention and safety
- Bullying prevention and intervention in schools
Culturally sustaining practices
Mental health literacy
- Mental health resources from the Centers for Diseas Control and Prevention
What is SEL board? ›
Commonly used by SEL coaches, school counselors, and student support staff in elementary school settings, SEL Choice Boards are a curated list of activities, videos, and prompts to help students build SEL skills and competencies.What are the 5 core components of SEL? ›
- Social Awareness.
- Relationship Skills.
- Responsible Decision-Making.
Social and emotional learning (SEL) can and must be incorporated in the curriculum and assessments. We have to design course material and assessment policy that inspire kindness in our learners. We need to find ways to encourage students to be more caring.What are the 5 domains of social emotional learning? ›
The CASEL 5 addresses five broad and interrelated areas of competence and highlights examples for each: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making.What does an SEL teacher do? ›
The SEL teacher is a student-facing, classroom management role. These teachers primarily support students with identified social, emotional, behavioral, and mental health needs, as well as students with Individualized Education Programs (IEP) or students from diverse backgrounds.
- GET DRAW WITH SQUIGGLES ACTIVITY.
- GET WEB BUILDING ACTIVITY.
- GET FACE THE MUSIC ACTIVITY.
- GET PEACE PLACE ACTIVITY.
- GET PICTURE BOOKS ACTIVITY.
- GET MORPHIN' TIME ACTIVITY.
- GET DIVERSITY ACTIVITY.
- GET WALKIN' SHOES ACTIVITY.
Three Pillars: Culture, Adult Skills, Curriculum. A culture where social emotional learning can thrive is one that provides a safe and healthy place for children to learn and grow.Why is SEL controversial? ›
But SEL has faced criticism from the left that it did not directly address racism faced by many students of color, and that its focus on management of emotions was a way of controlling students' behavior — including their legitimate reactions to racism and poverty — rather than addressing the underlying problems.What are 3 main aspects of social emotional development? ›
Social-emotional development consists of three main areas of children's self-regulation: Acting: Behaving in socially appropriate ways and ways that foster learning. Feeling: Understanding others' emotions and regulation of one's own emotions. Thinking: Regulating attention and thoughts.What are Casel competencies? ›
The five broad, interrelated areas of competence are: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making.
What are SEL standards? ›
Social-emotional learning standards provide a “continuum of development across 5 SEL competencies: Self-Awareness, Self-Management, Social Awareness, Relationship Skills, and Responsible Decision-Making,” according to the Ohio Department of Education.What are 5 benefits of SEL? ›
- SEL helps you regulate your emotions and manage stress. ...
- SEL improves academic performance. ...
- SEL promotes resilience. ...
- SEL improves mental health. ...
- SEL increases equity.
CASEL defines SEL as building skills to develop healthy identities; manage emotions; achieve personal and collective goals; feel and show empathy for others; establish and maintain supportive relationships; and make responsible and caring decisions.What skills are taught in SEL programs? ›
Communication, getting along with others, assertiveness, and problem-solving are all skills taught in an SEL program. These skills help people and organizations build a healthy, supportive, and successful work environment.How do I become a social-emotional learning teacher? ›
- Bachelor's. Bachelor of Arts in English. ...
- Master's. Master of Arts in Social Emotional Learning. ...
- Doctoral. Ed.D. ...
- Certificate. Certificate in Online Teaching (COT) Program. ...
- Credential. Inspired Teaching and Learning with a Preliminary Single Subject Teaching Credential. ...
- All Teaching & Education.
Social-emotional learning (SEL) helps improve kids' academic performance, curtail bullying, reduce dropout rates, and build character. Well-implemented SEL programs positively affect students' success in school.What is SEL and why is it important? ›
Social and emotional learning (SEL) is an educational concept that helps kids gain skills in important areas beyond math, reading, and other core school subjects. SEL helps kids identify their feelings, understand and communicate with others, build strong relationships, and make good, empathetic decisions.What are the 5 essential elements of social and emotional feelings? ›
- identifying emotions.
- understanding strengths.
Social and emotional learning in schools involves 5 key abilities: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making. These skills are seen as the foundation upon which people can build all other relational skills.What are the 4 zones of regulation? ›
The tool “Zones of Regulation” involves four phases of alertness and emotion- Blue,Green, Yellow, and Red. Most teachers who use this tool have a poster for each color in their classroom, with a small picture and label for different emotions that students can use to identify how they feel.
Should schools teach SEL? ›
The Benefits of SEL
SEL is beneficial to both children and adults, increasing self-awareness, academic achievement, and positive behaviors both in and out of the classroom. From an academic standpoint, students who participated in SEL programs saw an 11 percentile increase in their overall grades and better attendance.
Nationwide, school and district spending on SEL grew roughly 45 percent between November 2019 and April 2021, according to a report by Tyton Partners, an education consulting and investment firm.Is Social-Emotional Learning Biblical? ›
Jesus showed us how to live in love the way God intends for us to live. When we use Bible study as a foundation for all the learning we do, we are addressing all the core competencies of Social-Emotional Learning: self-awareness, social awareness, responsible decision-making, self-management, and relationship skills.What are the five stages of emotional development? ›
According to the National Center for Safe and Supportive Learning Environments, strong emotional development leads to five key skills: self-awareness, social-awareness, emotional regulation, responsible decision making and relationship building.Which are the two key practices related to strong social-emotional learning are? ›
- Self-awareness. Students learn to understand their own strengths and weaknesses, as well as see their behavior's influence on other people. ...
- Self-management. ...
- Social awareness. ...
- Relationship skills. ...
- Responsible decision-making.
Erikson maintained that personality develops in a predetermined order through eight stages of psychosocial development, from infancy to adulthood. During each stage, the person experiences a psychosocial crisis which could have a positive or negative outcome for personality development.What does SEL stand for? ›
Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) is the process through which children and adults acquire the knowledge, attitudes, and skills they need to: recognize and manage their emotions; demonstrate caring and concern for others; establish positive relationships; make responsible decisions; and.What does SEL mean in education? ›
We define social and emotional learning (SEL) as an integral part of education and human development.What is SEL and why is it important? ›
Social and emotional learning (SEL) is an educational concept that helps kids gain skills in important areas beyond math, reading, and other core school subjects. SEL helps kids identify their feelings, understand and communicate with others, build strong relationships, and make good, empathetic decisions.What skills are taught in SEL programs? ›
- Self-awareness. To recognize your emotions and how they impact your behavior; acknowledging your strengths and weaknesses to better gain confidence in your abilities.
- Self-management. ...
- Social awareness. ...
- Relationship skills. ...
- Making responsible decisions.
What does SEL look like in the classroom? ›
CASEL defines SEL as building skills to develop healthy identities; manage emotions; achieve personal and collective goals; feel and show empathy for others; establish and maintain supportive relationships; and make responsible and caring decisions.Why is SEL important in the classroom? ›
Social-emotional learning (SEL) helps improve kids' academic performance, curtail bullying, reduce dropout rates, and build character. Well-implemented SEL programs positively affect students' success in school.Why is SEL important in education? ›
Social-emotional learning is vital for students because it teaches them crucial life skills, including the ability to understand themselves, develop a positive self-image, take responsibility for their actions, and forge relationships with the people around them.Why is SEL controversial? ›
But SEL has faced criticism from the left that it did not directly address racism faced by many students of color, and that its focus on management of emotions was a way of controlling students' behavior — including their legitimate reactions to racism and poverty — rather than addressing the underlying problems.How do you teach SEL skills? ›
- Be Present and Observant. In order to figure out what my students are struggling with, I have to be present and observant. ...
- Create a Supportive Atmosphere. ...
- Share Life Experiences. ...
- Stimulate Discussion. ...
- Give Your Students the Opportunity to Practice.
By reducing misbehavior and the amount of time spent on classroom management, SEL programs create more time for teaching and learning. SEL also strengthens students' relationships with their peers, families, and teachers, who are mediators, collaborators, and encouragers of academic achievement.What is an example of a social emotional learning goals? ›
Example: “Student will increase her rate of sharing supplies willingly with others from 50 percent of opportunities to 90 percent of opportunities.” Design the goal around what the student will do (rather than what he or she will not do).What does SEL teach kids? ›
SEL aims to teach kids what CASEL, the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning, calls “core social and emotional competencies.” The organization breaks them down into five main areas: self-awareness, self-management, responsible decision-making, social awareness and relationship skills.How do you make a SEL curriculum? ›
- Explain the value of social and emotional learning.
- Put SEL front-and-center in your mission and vision.
- Collect and use evidence of SEL program effectiveness.
- Identify, evaluate and prioritize gaps.
- Implement SEL program initiatives.
Social-emotional learning standards provide a “continuum of development across 5 SEL competencies: Self-Awareness, Self-Management, Social Awareness, Relationship Skills, and Responsible Decision-Making,” according to the Ohio Department of Education.