Social Emotional Learning Skills
What is Social Emotional Learning?
Social Emotional Learning (SEL) is the lifelong process of learning how to:
- develop a healthy identity
- manage emotions
- achieve goals
- show empathy
- have supportive relationships
- make responsible decisions
Social Emotional Skills
We focus on the learning the six skills identified by WA Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, including:
Identify one’s emotions, personal assets, areas for growth, and potential external resources and supports
Regulating emotions, thoughts, and behaviors
Motivating oneself to persevere, and see oneself as capable
- Social Awareness
Taking the perspective of and empathizing with others from diverse backgrounds and cultures
- Social Management
Making safe and constructive choices about personal behavior and social interactions
- Social Engagement
Considering others and showing a desire to contribute to the well-being of school and community
SEL Starts at Home
Families are a child’s first teachers. As children grow, parents and families continue to support the social emotional lives of their children in the home.
Social and emotional learning (SEL) is an integral part of education and continues at school. School is another environment that offers opportunities to learn about emotions, show empathy for others, and contribute to the community.
Why focus on Social and emotional learning (SEL) is an integral part of education and at school? When students feel connected to their teachers, peers, and school, the learning networks in their brain become stronger. Emotions and relationships can either motivate students to engage in learning, or, if unmanaged, interfere with learning, memory, and positive behaviors. Decades of research tells us that social emotional skills are critical to both academic learning and to the competencies our children will need to be successful in career and civic life. Children’s social emotional development is best supported when parents and families, schools, and community partners all work together.
Social and emotional learning (SEL) is an integral part of education and continues in the community. Community institutions play an essential role in supporting healthy child development and in allowing student learning to continue across the many settings in which children learn.
Everyday SEL at Home
It’s normal to respond to the challenges of this time with a range of feelings and needs. We hope the 3 simple tips below might help create daily routines for supporting your household’s wellness.
SEL at School
Social emotional skills are modeled, taught, and practiced throughout the school day through four approaches:
- Creating Safe and Welcoming Climates
- Classroom Practices that Foster Equity and Belonging
- Instructional Practices that Weave Social and emotional learning (SEL) is an integral part of education and into Academics
- Stand-Alone Social and emotional learning (SEL) is an integral part of education and Skills Lessons
We use a number of programs to support Social Emotional Learning, including:
- Second Step
- Random Acts of Kindness
- SEE Learning
- Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility
SEL for Return to Full-Time In-Person Learning
School leaders and staff have been equipped with recommended activities and resources to prioritize social emotional wellness during the first few days and weeks of school. Teachers have been called upon to do what they do best – to create culturally-responsive, safe, stable, and nurturing classroom environments and relationships.
Through class circles, advisory lessons, and schoolwide practices, students will get to share their feelings, celebrate each other’s identities, and develop caring communities.
Sample Elementary Class Circle Activity
Abridged Teacher Instructions:
- Invite students to share how they’re feeling.
- Before doing so, ask students to list ways to show they’re listening to each other with care.
- Let students know it’s normal to have a range of feelings and it’s OK to share their feelings at school.
- Invite students to share how it feels when others listen to them with care.
Sample Secondary Advisory Lesson
Lesson Title: We’re Back! (But What Happens Now?)
Lesson Covers the Following Questions:
- How have my feelings about school changed this past year?
- Do I feel like I have more or less control over myself and situations?
- What are some goals that I can achieve that are within my control?
- Who can I talk to if I’m struggling with my feelings?