Social Emotional Learning

Equipping Students for a 21st Century Workforce

Managing a team project, giving and receiving feedback, self-discipline, critical thinking, putting yourself in someone else's shoes, etc. — every year, skills like these become more sought after by employers and colleges. These life skills fit into five categories (see below), and "Social Emotional Learning (SEL)" is simply an umbrella term for everything that schools do to build these skills.

SEL skills are included in Minnesota's Career and College Readiness framework, and Minnesota is one of a growing number of states with K-12 SEL standards. You may be wondering how schools build these skills. Well, as one teacher put it, "SEL isn't part of my students' day, it IS their day!" Check out a few examples of SEL below (Source: CASEL).

A Supportive Climate

Building strong relationships and helping all students and staff to feel valued and respected

Establishing clear behavior expectations and acknowledging when students meet them

Helping students to learn from their mistakes, restore their relationships, and move on

Integrating SEL Into Academic Instruction with Intention

Planning group work, peer feedback rituals, and other academic routines that build students' collaboration skills

Helping students gain more awareness and control over their attention and motivation

Building organizational skills, time management, and related skills needed to set and reach goals

Fostering perseverance and the attitude that we can learn and grow by overcoming obstacles

When discussing the characters in a story/novel or figures in history, prompting students to analyze their traits, values, how they made decisions or handled emotions, etc.

Explicit SEL Instruction

During advisory or morning meetings, having meaningful conversations with students about why and how to keep a cool head in a stressful situation, act assertively, resist negative peer pressure, prevent bullying, be a responsible digital citizen, and similar topics.

Teachers use evidence-based curriculum to frame these conversations: