Spreading Factual Information about Social and Emotional Learning

Parents are Leading the Way

Since summertime, a broad-based coalition of partners from youth-focused organizations like Highlights for Children, Communities In Schools and Committee for Children to educational associations like the School Superintendents Association to researchers like the American Psychological Association, Harvard’s Making Caring Common, and the American Institutes for Research along with Confident Parents, Confident Kids (25 in all) have come together to dedicate ourselves to putting out factual information about the critical nature of social and emotional learning in our schools, in our homes and in our communities. You know because you are a reader and follower that social and emotional learning equips our children, our teens, and ourselves with the skills and abilities to deeply know ourselves (a lifelong process), come to know, understand, empathize and show care for others, to create, grow and sustain healthy relationships (through listening, communication, conflict management and more) and make ethical, responsible decisions that do no harm to self, others or the environment. Here are some of the important facts we are sharing.

Independent polls confirm that:

  • 88% of parents want students to learn social and emotional skills in our schools.
  • 93% of teachers want social and emotional learning in their classrooms.
  • 86% say social and emotional learning is more important since the pandemic.
  • 75%+ say social and emotional learning can create a positive classroom climate.
  • 88% of parents are concerned about how schools address violence, mental health and emotional needs (National Parents Union).
  • 89% of parents are concerned with not preparing children for their future (National Parents Union).
  • 90% of teachers agree that social and emotional learning would improve students’ academic achievement.
  • Students participating in social and emotional learning increased academic performance by 11 percentile points.

Another key fact: separating social and emotional learning and academics is a false choice, one we don’t have to make. They integrate with, support and even boost one another just as we must integrate self awareness, collaboration and responsible decision making in our lives throughout our day and the many roles we play.

Unsure of what social and emotional learning looks like and feels like? We may have a sense in the preschool years but what about elementary, middle and high school? What about a whole district approach? And what about staff and how they model social and emotional skills? Check out these video shorts from Edutopia (the George Lucas Educational Foundation) to get a clearer sense of how it looks for our students!

Integrating SEL and Literacy — in Pear-Cohn Magnet High School

The Big Picture: Integrating SEL Across a District — Metro Nashville Public Schools

Building Adult Capacity for Social and Emotional Learning – How does professional development help staff model social and emotional skills among adults in a school?

If you are inspired to raise your voice for this critical issue as we enter voting season, there are a number of ways you can become an advocate.

  1. Post key messages on social media. You can find them here!
  2. Contact decision-makers from school boards to policymakers. We’ve made it easy! Check out these templates you can fill in and send.
  3. Write an op-ed for local media. We’ve put together lots of guidance to help you get started!
  4. Hold a conversation with other parents or educators in your school. Check out this conversation tool that makes it easy!

Join us! This is a time to stand up for what we know to be true and important for our children and teen’s development. This is not a political party-specific issue but an issue all of us can embrace who love and care for children. Help us spread the word that we know a focus on social and emotional development is just as critical as reading, writing and ‘rithmetic. Don’t miss the videos of parents and caregivers throughout the country sharing their stories of what social and emotional learning has meant to their families.

For more, visit Leading with SEL.

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