Did you know that there are state SEL standards? Yep, they are right here: http://www.isbe.net/ils/social_emotional/standards.htm
Until I took this job (Student Engagement Specialist) this year I did not know they existed. Who would have thought that we would start looking at our students and trying to understand their background as part of our teaching process? And that we would actually come to understand that a student’s social emotional status would directly affect their ability to learn?
Case in point: I have a grade level this year that is truly a mess. Half of the grade is failing; that is not an exaggeration. Two of the students have had to be hospitalized, the gossip mill is horrendous, fights keep breaking out and the teacher’s are at wits end. This tribe, this community needs help coming together and learning to respect each other.
We are currently working at implementing 2nd Step at our school. It is our first year doing so and it is not going to give immediate results. I am also working as the CHAMPS coach to work on positive classroom management. All my work is motivated by SEL and the truth that children learn what they live. I believe that if my students can be taught empathy and skills to navigate life they will be successful in school and life.