The importance of focusing and including all stakeholders in SEL training, empowers all people in a student’s circle of influence and ensures consistency and repetition in building SEL skills.
When we talk about an SEL framework that includes a focus on ALL stakeholders, who are we talking about?
- School leadership
- School staff
- Counselors and social workers
Children and adolescents need consistency to learn new skills. They need repetition. The only way to provide consistency and repetition in learning SEL skills is to ensure ALL stakeholders have common techniques and a common language.
SEL programs focused on students only are not effective
Why does SEL require consistency?
Imagine a football team that has several coaches. A head coach, assistant coach an offensive coach, a defensive coach, special teams etc. What if all of these coaches were not aligned? What if each of these coaches had different ideas and instructions of how to score points and win a game? Imagine how confusing this would be for the players. Which coach should they listen to?
I am not saying that this team wouldn’t be able to complete passes or score touchdowns, but it would be impossible to be successful in winning championships! The same is true building SEL skills.
According to ACSD, an independent school in NYC implemented an SEL program, but didn’t introduce it to all grade level staff. “Currently, each grade level has its own language for behavior expectations and character development. As such, growth that is achieved at one level is not always strongly sustained at the next.” At the foundation of habit development is repetition. (Lally, et al., 2010) Not providing a common language and strategies is a lost opportunity.
What does consistency look like?
Providing your school community with an SEL framework that specifically includes all stakeholders is imperative. Success in acquiring SEL skills require intention, focus on specific skills, repetition, consistency, and practice. Creating consistency requires training, coaching and practice for all stakeholders. Successful SEL doesn’t not happen by accident.
Why is SEL so important?
- Managing emotions
- Possessing emotional awareness
- Building relationships
- Communicating effectively
are learned SEL skills. Equipping our school community with SEL skills means giving them a framework to understand how emotional wellness, social wellness, psychological wellness and physical wellness are all interconnected.
Academic, social and career success require an individual to possess these SEL skills
What is your school’s mission?
If your mission is to equip students with skills for academic, social and career success you must be intentional about providing An SEL framework that includes all stakeholders.
According to the Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peach and Sustainable Development, if your mission includes:
- Providing a warm and kind classroom climate
- Protecting teachers from burnout
- Empowering teachers with the tools to work more effectively with challenging students
then providing your teachers with a SEL framework, including training, coaching and ongoing practice in the strategies, techniques and language, teachers will feel supported and appreciated.
How do you implement consistent SEL?
SEL skills requires everyone in a students’ circle of influence to exercise the same strategies/techniques and use a common language. Your SEL partner should provide training, demonstration and ongoing participation in effective SEL techniques and strategies for each stakeholder.
SEL skills are necessary in all life situations, therefore each person in a students’ circle of influence must possess a common language, and common SEL skills and practices.
21st Century students learn through repetition, consistency, and practice. In order to provide SEL as a systemic structure everyone in the community must be involved and participating in equipping our students with the skills that will catapult them into lifelong success!
CASEL (Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning) states that in order to most effectively bolster systemic implementation of SEL, districts must:
- Promote SEL for students
- Support adult SEL competencies and capacity-building
- Align SEL efforts across schools, families, and communities
It is imperative that your district’s SEL program have a community component. Community groups, sports, local youth organizations and places of worship have a strong influence on the way youth experience and manage emotions and build relationships.