Teachers, school counselors, and school leaders impact student social-emotional learning (SEL) to the degree that they transform each student’s mindset by empowering the self of the student.
SEL is more than simple observable changes in behavior or short-term boosts to motivation. Student SEL is the process of deep change—changing beliefs, assumptions, and paradigms of reality. For example, SEL is going from “no hope” to “hope,” from resignation to having dreams and a passion to pursue new possibilities, from anxiety and depression to inner peace and happiness.
When K-12 educators use SEL best practices and methods, they can produce transformational results in school-aged children and adolescents. The focus of this article is not on these methods, but instead on how to understand if you are indeed using SEL effectively and achieving your vision and expectations for SEL.