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Why is Social Emotional Learning so Important?

Why is Social Emotional Learning so Important?

By: Amy Plante, Assistant Principal

Students and adults world-wide have gone through an ever-changing world of expectations socially and emotionally the last two years. Our society has been asked to recreate how we educate, communicate and socialize. Individuals have been expected to include structure and consistency in their life yet must remain flexible to the continuous requests being placed on them. This challenge has created the necessity for individuals to build a “tool box” of ways to remain resilient.

The Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL) has identified five competencies of social/emotional learning:

  1. Self Awareness
  2. Self Management
  3. Social Awareness
  4. Relationship Skills
  5. Responsible Decision Making

We are all lifelong collaborative learners. Here at LPS we have a vision of assisting all of our adults and students in creating a healthy and inclusive school that supports all learners. We know how difficult the lack of social interactions has been on our students. We realize recognizing self awareness and fostering relationship skills has been extremely cumbersome to do over Zoom and social media. Some media interactions have created even more misunderstandings for students. Now that schools have gone back to “in person” we have an opportunity to practice these skills with our students in real life situations. Integrating these competencies into our daily instruction helps our students to build connections with each other, their community and ultimately understand themselves better.

At LPS our view on discipline is to use it as teachable moments. We explore how our students can be more self aware, build their relationships and make responsible decisions. We are changing the conversation, our students have a voice in how to support their own needs and add to their “ tool box.”

We live in challenging times, but our students have continued social and emotional support not only from LPS but more importantly from their incredible parents/caregivers. In the last two years I have learned; we all need to take a breath once in a while, human connectedness is key to our growth and we are more resilient than we ever realized. Happy New Year!