Social Emotional Learning

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What is it?
Social Emotional Learning (SEL) is the process through which children acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions. (

Why is it important?
SEL is important for a variety of reasons.  It provides a foundation for safe and positive learning, and it also enhances your student's ability to succeed in school, careers, and life.

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Short term benefits:
        1. understand and manage feelings
        2. have empathy for others
        3. and make responsible decisions, personally and socially                 4. establish positive relationships with peers and adults
        5. improve grades, attendance and test scores 
        6. reduce risk-taking behaviors and decrease stress

Long term benefits:

        1. increase readiness for post secondary education
        2. have a successful career
        3. positive family and work relationships
        4. better mental health
        5. reduced criminal behavior

.Counselor's Corner:
How to encourage kindness and empathy in our kids! What you can do at home:
  • Kids learn by example, so model compassion and empathy in your own relationships.
  • Help your child label their feelings, increase their feelings vocabulary.  
  • Validate your child's feelings, even if you think it's a bit ridiculous to get so upset about trivial things.
  • Recognize when your child is being kind and showing empathy. 
  • Get in the habit of writing thank you notes for gifts received.  This shows that your child appreciates and is grateful for the gift received and it makes the giver feel good too.  
  • Practice mindfulness (see parent resources and click on mindfulness for more information) 


5 Competencies of SEL:

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  • Self-awareness: The ability to accurately recognize one’s emotions and thoughts and their influence on behavior. This includes accurately assessing one’s strengths and limitations and possessing a well-grounded sense of confidence and optimism.
  • Self-management: The ability to regulate one’s emotions, thoughts, and behaviors effectively in different situations. This includes managing stress, controlling impulses, motivating oneself, and setting and working toward achieving personal and academic goals.
  • Social awareness: The ability to take the perspective of and empathize with others from diverse backgrounds and cultures, to understand social and ethical norms for behavior, and to recognize family, school, and community resources and supports.
  • Relationship skills: The ability to establish and maintain healthy and rewarding relationships with diverse individuals and groups. This includes communicating clearly, listening actively, cooperating, resisting inappropriate social pressure, negotiating conflict constructively, and seeking and offering help when needed.
  • Responsible decision making: The ability to make constructive and respectful choices about personal behavior and social interactions based on consideration of ethical standards, safety concerns, social norms, the realistic evaluation of consequences of various actions, and the well-being of self and others.

For more information from CASEL, please visit CASEL
*Information from

Contact Information:

Liz Wehr
SEL Specialist at Elk Creek, Marshdale, and West Jefferson Elementary