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What Educators Think of Social-Emotional Learning

August 25, 2022

The Circle Education has been providing social-emotional learning programs in schools for over more than twenty years. Why is it important to have those programs in a school environment? We’ve asked three educators about their experiences with social-emotional learning.

Gail Bryn-Jones (elementary teacher)

“Social-emotional learning in the school context is where we address the children and their affective side. How they are feeling affects how they can learn and how they can participate. If you look at the two words, “social” and “emotional”, there’s a lot that humans need to know about how to take care of themselves emotionally but also how to integrate with others socially.

When you think about what contributes to students’ success, it’s just as much their social confidence, respect for each other, and respect for themselves as it is their intellectual capability. How much we value ourselves is a direct contributor to how well we do out in the world. More and more, it seems like socialization rules that families could and should be teaching are not happening at home, and so we have to make up for it at school. Finding ways for kids to feel good about themselves has always been the most important thing about my teaching job.”

Kate Nash (facilitator Pass it On Girls)

“Social-emotional learning is about empowering youth with the tools to grow more confident, make safe choices and succeed in life. Pass It On does exactly that. I’ve never seen a young woman walk away from Pass It On and not have grown in confidence, the key ingredient to success. Through self-reflection, listening to others’ perspectives and sharing thoughtful conversation, participants get to know themselves and their needs better. They grow more confident in themselves which allows them to embark on educational challenges and life challenges with a sense of self-worth and ability. You learn to think to yourself, “Hey, I’m going do okay on this math test” or “I can say no to Hank when he’s pushing himself on me” or “I don’t have to smoke pot at lunch.” You learn to make choices that reflect how you really feel. The simplicity of a safe setting and the ease of sharing is life-changing. That’s why I think social-emotional learning should be integrated into all students’ day-to-day life.”

Shelly Johnson (school principal)

“I think it’s fantastic to have social-emotional programs available in schools. Not all teachers are comfortable teaching a program like this on their own or have had the opportunity to be trained to deliver this kind of programming. Social and emotional learning provides a foundation for safe and positive learning and enhances students’ ability to succeed in school, careers, and life. We appreciate having that available to our students.”

Are you interested to have social-emotional programming in your school? Check out our workshops, presentations/guest speaker opportunities and Pro D Day training for elementary, middle and secondary schools here

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