My Readers in Last 30 Days:My Readers in Last 30 Days

Social And Emotional Learning – Latest Interesting News Stories

These are the latest interesting stories about social and emotional learning with links and my comments.

No Place for Social-Emotional Learning In Schools? Are You Sure?

Back in early January, I wrote a commentary for Education Week that focused on ways that those of us who care about SEL can get critics to understand why it's important that schools focus on SEL.

If you read the blog, and scrolled down to the comments, you saw that I did not win everyone over. I actually had some people e-mail me to send support because they were appalled by the comments. [ click here to read more ]
My comment:
This is exactly what I think about the importance of SEL. You just can't ignore emotions and focus only on academics. Because emotions can't be excluded from the learning process. In fact, they should be used to facilitate learning.   


Dogs go to school as part of social-emotional learning programs

Dive Brief:
Schools are increasingly opening their doors to “comfort dogs” as administrators recognize the animals’ ability to contribute to a positive school climate, MindShift reports.

In New York City, for example, 42 schools are participating in a pilot program in which dogs provide emotional support to students and are integrated as part of social-emotional learning programs.

These trained canines can also change perceptions of dogs among children who have previously had fearful experiences with them. In most cases the dogs are always on a leash and with their owners. In one New York school, parents had to sign a letter allowing their children to interact with the dog.  [ click here to read more ]
My comment:
This article reminded me of an occasion that happened many years ago. It’s interesting since now that I think of it, the dog was the key to successful change of plans. The dog helped the kids with flexibility.

I had planned a bicycle trip to a local library with my 2nd graders. Everyone seemed excited about getting to ride their bikes.

The very morning, or perhaps late at previous night I received a phone call from a parent. It turned out there was a child in my class who still struggled with learning to cycle. A class bicycle trip would be horror for that child.

I pondered with this information. How would I turn the heads of all the little happy cyclists and get them to happily walk to the library instead of cycling. 

Then I thought of the obvious. I had a labrador retriever at that time. I took my dog with me to the school.
Everyone from the class wanted to pet the dog and someone even suggested exactly what I had been hoping: “Teacher, can we take the dog with us to the library?”  “Well, we could. But the dog can only come with us if we leave our bicycles at school and walk him there. Are you willing to do that?”

“Yes, of course. We can walk if we get to take the dog with us!” So, off we strode! Happily walking teacher’s dog. And nobody had to be embarrassed about lacking cycling skills.

Soon that kid learned how to cycle. And much later did I find out my dog had eaten a pupil’s lunch bun!


New social emotional learning guidelines released

That the California Department of Education (CDE) has released new guiding principles for teaching social and emotional skills, a tool to help educators ensure students have the skills they need for success in school, careers, and in the community.

“Educators know, and the science confirms that learning is not only cognitive, but also social and emotional,” State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom said Torlakson.

“These principles are a part of a concentrated effort to improve teaching and learning of social and emotional skills by recognizing that students’ connection to what they are learning is a critical component of a quality education.” [ click here to read more ]




Educator Self-Care Is Social Emotional Learning

Vicarious or secondary trauma invades our classrooms and leaks into the hearts of educators who carry the emotional burdens of their students.

If we can honor our educators and their work by giving them the skills and space for their own self-care, then we help them stay whole and enjoy long, healthy careers being present for students and their learning.

As a school counselor, I help teachers understand the most important thing they can do for children is to keep their own mood stable.

When I come into their classrooms to teach students about breathing strategies, mindfulness, yoga and Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), it is not just for the students but also to offer time for teachers to connect with their own breath. [ click here to read more ]




Yale approach to social-emotional learning takes off in Lower Hudson schools

Nearly 20 districts in the Lower Hudson Valley have bought in to a new and growing approach to social-emotional learning.

A partnership between Putnam Northern Westchester BOCES and the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence has led to dozens of teachers, principals, superintendents and school board members attending training sessions and workshops to learn about strategies to monitor, inform and converse with children about their feelings. [ click here to read more ]





Mood meters, phone apps help Hinsdale District 86 students manage emotions

Social emotional learning has become as important a topic in education as science, technology, engineering and math. Unlike those subjects, social and emotional learning sounds warm and fuzzy.

But the staff at Hinsdale High School District 86 says social and emotional learning involves teaching concrete skills.

The skills are valuable because with some students, emotions and drama get in the way of concentration, and that affects learning, said Brad Verthein, director of student services. More than 100 students in District 86 receive services for emotional disturbances, he said.

All freshmen are learning social and emotional learning skills as part of physical education. [ click here to read more ]




Schools are teaching kids empathy and self-control. It helps at home, too.

My daughter attends public school in Boulder, Colo., where her teacher is one of a handful of educators integrating social and emotional learning (SEL) into the classroom.

But the Boulder Valley School District (BVSD) board recently approved a grant to fund the investigation of SEL Competencies, with the goal of creating a systemwide approach to SEL.

That means more kids will be learning how to understand and manage their emotions, set goals, build healthy relationships, make good decisions and have empathy, according to the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning. [ click here to read more ]




Steve Head: Local districts strive to incorporate social/emotional learning into classrooms

Research shows focusing on character education leads to reduced aggression among our students, higher academic success and greater opportunity to succeed in the career they choose to pursue.

Often times in education, we hear only about the academic learning that takes place in our schools. More and more, schools are focusing on the whole child, and social and emotional learning is a critical piece of the puzzle.

Outside of the school setting, this is often referred to as the teaching of soft skills and character development with our students.

Schools are now beginning to focus on developing resiliency with our students and supporting our families and communities with this critical work. [ click here to read more ]




Social Emotional Learning Awareness Week

The State of Connecticut proclaimed February 7 to 14, 2018, Social Emotional Learning Awareness Week, a Jesse Lewis Choose Love Movement initiative to celebrate and promote the benefits of SEL.

Quinnipiac’s School of Education, 370 Bassett Road, North Haven, will host a special event on Monday, February 12, from 10 am to noon, featuring speakers Scarlett Lewis and Senator Richard Blumenthal.

The Jesse Lewis Choose Love organization initiated a call to action urging students and educators to submit essays illustrating how the Jesse Lewis Choose Love movement impacts every day choices and lives.

The Choose Love Formula focuses on four pillars: Courage + Gratitude + Forgiveness + Compassion in Action = Choosing Love. Students will share their creative writing on February 12, and all entries will be published in a book about SEL.  [ click here to read more ]