We talk often in the Weston Public Schools about the importance of social-emotional learning, or “SEL.” Our Strategic Plan includes a Vision of developing our students’ “academic, social, and emotional growth and holistic well-being.” But what is SEL? Why does it matter? How does it look different for very young learners than for adolescents?
The national nonprofit Committee for Children offers this description of SEL: “Social-emotional learning (SEL) is the process of developing the self-awareness, self-control, and interpersonal skills that are vital for school, work, and life success. People with strong social-emotional skills are better able to cope with everyday challenges and benefit academically, professionally, and socially. From effective problem-solving to self-discipline, from impulse control to emotion management and more, SEL provides a foundation for positive, long-term effects on kids, adults, and communities.”
The WPS Administrative Team spent some time this winter exploring some of these key questions, as well as ways to make SEL more understandable to families who may be unfamiliar with the concept. The team decided the best way to illustrate what SEL looks like is to provide concrete examples from our schools. We’re pleased to share these brief features about SEL in action from our elementary, middle, and high schools: