We’re at the end of our amazing and informative interview with Jennifer S. Miller – author and illustrator of the Confident Parents, Confident Kids blog – on incorporating social and emotional learning in summer camps. This last question sums up SEL in school districts and gives a few resources to reference.
LN: Nationwide, is SEL being incorporated in school districts like it should be?
JSM: Yes and no. Nationwide, there are numerous models of schools, districts, and states that are working thoughtfully to integrate what we know about advancing children’s academic, social, and emotional development into their curriculum, policies, and practices. Yet, this is not a passing educational trend. In order for our educational systems to genuinely meet the needs of children, social and emotional learning is essential – not a nice-to-have or add-on. These skills are fundamental to our children’s success. And so, every school, not a chosen, progressive few, need to have the advantage of learning about and advancing their agenda on the best ways to incorporate social and emotional learning into what they do. For example, in my area, it is the private, high tuition schools that integrate social and emotional learning in a focused way and not the public schools. This has to change. In fact, when schools do become intentional and focused on SEL, it not only contributes to child well-being, but also to teacher, staff, and family well-being so that the entire school community benefits.
To learn more about model school districts, check out the CASEL Collaborating Districts.
To understand more about how SEL is fundamental to learning, check out the videos by Edutopia and the Aspen Institute entitled, “How Learning Happens.”
If you are a parent who wants to raise the conversation about social and emotional learning (SEL) in your child’s school, check out the “How Learning Happens: Family and Caregiver Conversation Tool.”