Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) Resources
A collaborative effort through the Stanislaus County Office of Education
Why Social and Emotional Learning?
We know that pre-COVID-19 the mental health and the well-being of both staff and students was a crisis, one largely ignored. The COVID pandemic has placed a spotlight on these incredible needs. Before COVID these finite mental health resources (e.g., mental health clinicians, counselors, psychiatrists, etc.) were often impacted and inundated. As we return to school, these needs will grow exponentially, leaving both the educational and health systems asking how things can be done differently in the face of this new fiscal reality. Through a collaborative effort, the Stanislaus County Office of Education hopes that this space will serve as a place for both district personnel and staff to develop and share their understanding of Social and Emotional Learning (SEL). As we continue to develop ways to infuse SEL into classrooms and sites (both physical and virtual), we invite the experts, YOU to share ideas and information on this topic.
More than ever, providing students the opportunities to develop their self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship and decision-making skills will be critical to proactively supporting the mental health and well-being of our students, our staff and ourselves! Through the use of SEL and evidence-based frameworks such as Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS/Behavioral MTSS) or the Interconnected Systems Framework, we can work together to promote the collective healing of our society.
For local mental health and crisis hotline information, please visit the Stanislaus County Office of Education's Mental Health and Emotional Support Resources page.
What is Social and Emotional Learning (SEL)?
According to the leading organization in SEL, the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL), "Social and emotional learning (SEL) is an integral part of education and human development. SEL is the process through which all young people and adults acquire and apply the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to develop healthy identities, manage emotions and achieve personal and collective goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain supportive relationships, and make responsible and caring decisions."
Integrating SEL means that educators are providing students with the opportunity to develop and strengthen their five core competencies: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship and responsible decision-making skills.
Learn more about the five Core Competencies here.
SEL and Mental Health: What's the Relationship?
"SEL is like a balanced diet, nutritious and necessary for everyone to stay healthy. It promotes mental wellness by helping all students (and adults) build healthy relationships, better understand their emotions, cope with stress, and ask for help. But SEL cannot and should not replace mental health services for students who need them. SEL is not a way of treating or diagnosing mental health conditions, and it does not ask teachers to provide therapeutic responses. The role of teachers in promoting SEL is to build supportive relationships and create opportunities for all students to learn and practice skills that help them succeed in school and life." -CASEL's Monthly Conversations Newsletter/April 2022
Q: How do other practices such as Restorative Justice or Trauma Informed Practices work with Social and Emotional Learning (SEL)?
A: Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) is the practice of providing students the opportunity to develop and strengthen their self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship and decision making skills. Supporting SEL at your school site/district does not need to be exclusionary to other practices. On the contrary, SEL and other practices such as Restorative Justice, Mindfulness and/or Trauma Informed Care when functioning together, create a repertoire of critical practices to support some of our most vulnerable youth. A strong foundation in the SEL competencies affords both students and adults the opportunity to engage in other activities such as Restorative Circles or Calming Corners in an authentic and meaningful way. More information on how Mindfulness, SEL and Trauma Informed practices work to support the academic and mental health outcomes of students can be found here.