Ms. Shea's Social Emotional Learning Website

What is SEL?

Social Emotional Learning (SEL) is the process through which children and adults understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.

Another way to think about it is the process of creating a strong connection between your brain and your heart. You need the right balance of emotional awareness and critical thinking skills in order to come up with solutions to life's problems. SEL provides opportunities for students to learn and practice these critical skills.

CASEL’s Five Core Competencies

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.

15 Important Skills Taught Through SEL Curriculums

A Social Emotional Learning Specialist (SELS) teaches essential skills students can use through childhood and beyond, such as:

  1. Emotional recognition: Emotional recognition helps learners identify and manage difficult emotions such as jealousy and frustration. When students know how to control overwhelming emotions, they can get through tough situations, make sensible choices, maintain relationships and enjoy greater well-being.

  2. Self-regulation: Students learn to stay calm through self-soothing and gain an awareness of their physical and mental states so they can apply calming techniques and resist impulsive behaviors. Self-regulation is a vital skill for clearing one's mind and handling changes.

  3. Behaviors: SEL teaches students how to replace negative communication habits and behaviors with positive ones. Behavior skills help students bond with others and form healthy relationships.

  4. Play skills: Students learn a variety of play skills, such as how to ask others to play, how to share and how to be a good sport. Play skills keep the atmosphere fun and encourage children to participate and make friends.

  5. School rules: School rules skills help children feel comfortable with classroom routines. Students also learn strategies for following directions and why it's important. These skills help create a learning-friendly environment and reduce disruptive behavior.

  6. Perspective-taking: Through SEL, students build empathy skills and learn how to understand other viewpoints. When children can understand how others feel, they can react to problems and misunderstandings with compassion and respect.

  7. Basic conversation skills: SEL teaches children how to start and end conversations smoothly. They learn when to stop talking and listen to the other person. Conversation skills help children connect with others.

  8. Conversation topics: Students learn how to maintain topics in conversation by asking questions and commenting. They also learn how to consider their conversation partner and tell when it's time to change the topic. Topic skills teach children to think before they speak.

  9. Advanced conversation skills: Advanced conversation skills teach students how to tell a narrative effectively. They also learn how to understand nonliteral language and detect humor and sarcasm. Advanced conversation skills help eliminate misunderstandings and conflict.

  10. Nonverbal communication: Nonverbal communication skills teach children the importance of personal space and active listening. Students also learn the value of making eye contact and understanding tone of voice and body language. These skills help students feel comfortable and connected.

  11. Situational awareness: Students learn to consider the needs and feelings of others in different situations. This includes learning how to read a room and how to be polite when sharing meals with others. Situational awareness skills enhance shared experiences and strengthen relationships.

  12. Problem-solving: Students learn the importance of compromising and how to use cognitive skills to analyze a problem and determine a logical solution. Problem-solving skills help children overcome challenges in school, relationships, and life.

  13. Friendship: SEL lessons teach children how to seek friends and build relationships over time. They learn how to give and receive compliments, handle conflict and make fair decisions. Children can use friendship skills throughout their lives to form and maintain rewarding relationships.

  14. Self-esteem: Students learn how to break negative thinking cycles and set positive goals. They also learn how to handle rejection in a healthy way and how to respond to various forms of teasing and bullying. Children need self-esteem to get through difficult situations and reach their goals.

  15. Hygiene: SEL teaches children general hygiene practices and good manners. Students learn the importance of improving hygiene and how personal appearance makes an impact.