Why It’s Important to Provide Social Emotional Learning Training for School Staff Members
March 1st, 2023
Social Emotional Learning, or SEL, is an educational framework focused on supporting the academic success of students by encouraging the development of social and emotional skills.
SEL aims to provide students with the emotional and social tools to build positive relationships with others, have greater empathy for others, and effectively navigate their own personal challenges both inside and outside of the classroom. This is achieved by focusing on five main areas: Self-Awareness, Self-Management, Relationships Skills, Responsible Decision-Making, and Social Awareness (Banger, 2022).
Studies show that SEL practices are beneficial for students, teachers, and school staff. Most school principals want more resources to train teachers on SEL practices while 93% of teachers are strong supporters of building more SEL-focused schools (CASEL, n.d.). Implementing SEL as a pillar of the school curriculum is key when it comes to building successful, engaging, and student-focused educational environments.
Four Benefits of Implementing SEL Training for School Staff
SEL Can Improve Student Quality of Life
Empowering students to effectively handle their emotions and interact with others can produce long-term results, with students reporting greater feelings of wellbeing up to 18 years later. Additional reviews of the impact of SEL on students demonstrate that it allows students to build stronger emotional and social skills and can lead to short-term decreases in feelings of anxiety and depression (CASEL, n.d.). Providing students with the right toolset to handle challenges throughout their lives can make a world of difference in both their academic and personal experiences.
SEL Helps Students Build Skills for Success
At its core, Social Emotional Learning seeks to identify and strengthen the relationship between student wellbeing and academic success. In fact, data shows that effective SEL interventions can increase student academic performance by as much as 11 percentile points. With 82% of teachers expressing that fully integrated SEL approaches have had a positive impact on student outcomes, it’s clear that educators agree. Additionally, at least 96% of teachers believe that each of the five pillars of SEL are critical when it comes to supporting student success (CASEL, n.d.).
SEL Helps Teachers Handle Stress
According to Marken & Agrawal (2022), K-12 teachers report higher burnout rates than any other profession in the United States, with 44% stating that they feel burnt out at work either “always” or “very often.” With ever-increasing demands, the day-to-day challenges of teaching, and the stress of a constantly evolving educational landscape, teachers can be left feeling overworked and unsupported. SEL is an excellent tool when it comes to helping teachers navigate and reduce these feelings. Trained teachers who regularly implement SEL practices into the classroom have reported higher levels of wellbeing compared to those who don’t (CASEL, n.d.). Additionally, SEL-focused teachers tend to report higher feelings of happiness and a greater capacity to help students in need (Frezza, 2018).
SEL Supports Culturally Sensitive and Inclusive Teaching Practices
As one of its primary objectives, the SEL framework aims to expand both self-awareness and social awareness. This can help teachers create lessons that are inclusive and culturally sensitive by encouraging them to reflect on their own biases and how their lessons either challenge or reinforce existing systems of racism and oppression. As teachers strive to overcome these systems and challenges, it creates a learning environment that is safe for students from diverse backgrounds which, in turn, further supports student wellbeing and success (Banger, 2022; CASEL, n.d.).
School leaders should strive to implement Social Emotional Learning (SEL) as a central part of their school or district’s educational strategy. Beyond building positive and inclusive learning environments, SEL helps students gain the emotional intelligence and skills required for lifelong professional and academic success. The results of these practices clearly demonstrate that students who are properly supported in their social and emotional development are students who thrive.
Did you know?
SuperEval’s partner PLS Classes offers a new graduate level online course for educators called Social-Emotional Learning: Essential to Student Success™? Participants earn PD or graduate credit as they explore the five areas of social-emotional learning and explore ways to develop character strengths in students of empathy and compassion, integrity and self-control, courage and perseverance, humility and gratitude, teamwork and communication, and curiosity and inquisitiveness. If your teachers or school administrators would like to learn more, please send them here for more information.
Banger, C. (2022). SEL for Teachers: A Win for Both Educators and Students. D2L.
CASEL. (n.d.). What Does the Research Say?. Collaborative for Academic, Social, and
Emotional Learning (CASEL). https://casel.org/fundamentals-of-sel/what-does-the-research-say/
Frezza, D. (2018). Four Reasons Why Students – and Teachers – Need SEL Embedded Into
School All Day, Every Day. EdSurge and Rethink Ed. https://www.edsurge.com/news/2018-09-04-four-reasons-why-students-and-teachers-need-sel-embedded-into-school-all-day-every-day
Marken, S. & Agrawal, S. (2022). K-12 Workers Have Highest Burnout Rate in U.S. Gallup.