The concepts behind Social Emotional Learning (SEL) have become a polarizing topic in recent years. Though the teachings of SEL are not new to schools, including those within CUSD, the specifics have been somewhat blurred. CUSD’s Director of Student Services, Niamh Foley, recently discussed SEL and its presence within the district.
“Social-emotional learning is on-going and foundational at each of our schools… SEL lessons are taught across all settings such as morning circle time, classroom meetings, school wide assemblies and advisory period,” explained Foley. “In CUSD, we are committed to educating the whole child. Social emotional learning is the process of learning prosocial behaviors, emotional and character skills that are essential for success in school, work and life. Students learn how to manage and identify emotions, have empathy, solve problems effectively, make responsible decisions, and develop healthy relationships.”
As an educator with over 25 years of experience, Foley states that the concept of SEL has been around for decades. “It may have been called The Golden Rule, or a program such as Character Counts, or the Keys of Excellence, but they all focus on the same thing and that is teaching children how to be well-rounded humans with the interpersonal skills to succeed in life.”