Enthusiastic SEL

Have you ever run into someone who just does not share the same passion about a topic as you? How about someone who does not share the same passion about SEL as you do? Well, we might not be exactly sure how some people don’t share the same level of passion for SEL as we at SEL4CT do;  but we do know that it happens.

Understanding that perhaps some people just are not as excited about social and emotional learning skills as we are, we want to change that! These skills are vital to success and we would love everyone to be as excited about teaching social and emotional skills to people of all ages.  Everyone could be better off every day with the skills required to navigate difficult social situations constructively, manage strong emotions with grace, and be the best possible person that they can be. That is why we decided to talk about how we all can encourage others to be as enthusiastic about SEL as we are. 

To encourage people to support and talk about SEL, we should know what SEL is. So what is SEL? Simply put, SEL is the way in which people learn to interact with themselves and others, through emotions, observations, and social skills. But don’t take our word for it, check out these other definitions:

  • CASEL describes SEL as “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.”
  • The Committee for Children describes SEL as “the process of developing the self-awareness, self-control, and interpersonal skills that are vital for school, work, and life success.”
  • Positive Action describes SEL as “the vital framework through which people of all ages acquire skills in working towards their own unique goals, comprehending and managing their emotions, nurturing positive relationships, making informed choices, and feeling and exhibiting empathy.”

In line with CASEL’s research, SEL has five major focus areas:

  1. Self-awareness
    • The ability to understand one’s own emotions, thoughts, and values and how it impacts behaviors and other situations
  2. Self-management
    • The ability to manage one’s emotions, thoughts, and behaviors effectively
  3. Social awareness
    • The ability to understand the perspectives of and empathize with others
  4. Relationship skills
    • The ability to establish and maintain healthy and supportive relationships
  5. Responsible decision-making
    • The ability to make caring and constructive choices

For more information on these focus areas please visit CASEL’s website and interactive wheel.

What makes SEL important? Why is it important that kids learn social and emotional skills?

  • According to the Committee for Children “social-emotional learning (SEL) helps improve kids’ academic performance, curtail bullying, reduce dropout rates, and build character.” 
  • According to CASEL “when students have supportive relationships and opportunities to develop and practice social, emotional, and cognitive skills across many different contexts, academic learning accelerates. Hundreds of studies offer consistent evidence that SEL bolsters academic performance.” 
  • Healthline notes that with SEL youth is able to “gain a better understanding of themselves and of the people around them. They can gain the skills and knowledge that will help them understand their emotions, develop their identities, and set goals.”
  • NEA noted in this brief article that SEL promotes better academic performance, encourages improved attitudes and behaviors among students, decreases negative behaviors, and lowers emotional distress

Resources on how to implement SEL in the classroom and curriculum:

We hope that all of this information about SEL encourages you to speak up about SEL in your school, home, or community and that it encourages you to encourage others about the importance of SEL.  One of the best ways is to remember that kids won’t be kids forever and SEL is important for adults too!