Leading for Solutions: Embedding SEL into school culture

To be successful, SEL programs need to be supported by the whole school community. Barbara Haxby Brady explains how this can be achieved

MRS. EDWARDS HAS JUST FINISHED her social and emotional learning lesson, using a research-based curriculum. The students participate twice a week in this program and she sees a real difference in her class. Students are able to discuss their feelings better, many are able to use self-control strategies when prompted, there has been a real improvement in teamwork, and her class climate is much improved. The program has been a real success, and there are several teachers experiencing the same results at this school. However, many teachers do not have the time to do the lessons regularly and rarely reinforce the skills during the day. There are still too many discipline problems, particularly in the cafeteria and playground, and during lesson transition times. Clearly, the program works for committed teachers, but how can this tool be used effectively throughout the school?

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February 2010