For socio-emotional learning to go beyond buzzwords, it must be started by the teacher

After decades of education reform efforts that have done little to improve the country’s education system, many teachers and school leaders are reluctant to embrace another bright, “hopeful” idea. But the reality is that America’s education system finds itself at the center of a crisis that demands change. The upheaval of this moment in history presents a unique opportunity to rebuild, but against the backdrop of so much confusion and uncertainty, schools need reform that meets the needs of society as a whole and builds a solid foundation of trust for teachers, families and students.

Socio-emotional learning, or SEL, entered the education spotlight many years ago as a promising approach. Decades of research present Clear evidence That SEL generates a number of benefits, including positive social behavior, improved academic performance, and reduced drug use. SEL also gives intuitive meaning to teachers, who often understand – first-class experience and building student connections – the importance of skills that extend beyond academic boundaries.

Schools and districts across the country have readily adopted the concept and term “SEL” – one of the brightest objects seen during the epidemic – but few have noticed its full, stable potential, when it is integrated into all corners of the community. Yet Promise of SEL Not lost when done properly, it can transform school and life.

Going beyond buzzwords starts with adults

On the surface, the growing interest in SEL is a big step forward. Finally, there is SEL By experience Good for kids. But the history of education reform in the United States is shrouded in a half-implemented agenda with superficial consequences, leaving many teachers tired and bored of mentioning new or “innovative” approaches.

In my first year of teaching, I remember a 20-year-old teacher telling me: “Things change every year. I just teach by closing my door. ”

Later, in graduate school, I took a course called “History of School Reform.” My professor introduced the course by saying, “Many of you take an enthusiastic approach to this work. I have a sarcastic thought. It meant that, looking at his skills, he was very rude about positive, lasting improvements.

American education researchers can find minds that monitor the growing SEL movement Tony Brick Has called the school a “Christmas tree” – one that always adorns itself with new curricula and rhetoric, but remains structurally unchanged. Especially in a society where the education system has historically spread discrepancies and mistrust in low-income areas and communities of color शिक्षक teachers and families are justified in turning a blind eye to any new discussion or discussion of “improvement”.

Throughout my career as a teacher and researcher, I have seen schools implement SEL programs with varying degrees of success. The difference in results is usually close. Instead of pushing up and down, the implementation of instructional activities (teacher assessments has provided a lot Recent examples Such improvement approaches), the same schools that see progress since SEL implementation engage teachers with continuous, purposeful, work-embedded support and training. They formulate whole school policies and practices that a The foundation of faith Among staff and students.

When teachers thrive, students thrive. My recommendation to schools is to first make sure that adults are listened to, cared for, and supported to strengthen their own socio-emotional abilities. Only then can they become teachers Model They develop their own socio-emotional abilities and honestly train students.

Most importantly, education leaders need to establish a high-confidence environment in their schools. Such an atmosphere Can be developed Choosing a shared vision, effective communication, distributed leadership practices and professional development approaches that promote relationships. Leaders can start this work by implementing one SEL program for adults Which helps staff members build trust, manage stress and attend to equity.

In a highly-trusted environment, regularly scheduled opportunities for employees to share their experiences and speak through their emotions can help leaders constantly monitor and respond productively to productive SEL. With adult SEL in mind, teachers and students will then benefit from collaborating to promote a holistic school policy that recognizes and respects differences, using a common language to talk about socio-emotional needs. It is an act of success.

The power and promise of SEL

As we begin to recover from the recent events and the ongoing Covid-1 crisis, many in the education sector see an opportunity for a real renaissance. And SEL has been central to conversations about school priorities, even among the most bizarre ones. There are many education leaders Reconsideration Their methodical approach, and some are making calls “Reclaim” The power and promise of SEL.

During this time of distraction we have the opportunity to reflect, listen, and apply the lessons we have learned. If you do, I am hopeful that we can get out of the ad reform vortex and take advantage of SEL to create a more consistent, equitable and educational system. Overall Support all teachers and children.

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