Tuesday, March 21, 2017

The Social Emotional Learning Team

I had an amazing call with a Principal who firmly believes in using Social Emotional Learning at her school.  She is so committed that she is inspiring her teachers to form a “Social Emotional Learning Team” to not only implement programs but to make them sustainable.    Why is this important?  Because teachers are so unmotivated by having to implement another initiative!  How many new initiatives can we add to a teacher’s day?  Yet, it’s so important to add an SEL program in schools and it's critical for student’s ability to learn.  A daily mindfulness practice is foundational to social emotional learning and academic learning.  It promotes using higher order cognitive resources (the prefrontal cortex) over lower order functions (fight, flight, or freeze) which allows students to be ready to learn.  

Mindfulness is not a new age thing or related to a particular religion, it’s training our brains to have the ability to pay attention at the present moment non-judgmentally.  When it comes to education, the aspect of paying attention alone could be the game changer for many students.  Try it out, bring mindfulness into your classroom and see what a difference it can make for you, your students, your classroom and ultimately for your community.  You can try the daily practice at InnerExplorer.org to get started.  I’m in love with the idea of having a Social Emotional Team and I hope that it’s a concept that all schools will try to incorporate.

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