Welcome back to our series about using the new Mentoring Minds Resource Library to gain quick and easy access to a collection of our most-loved educator resources. So far, we’ve highlighted the Parent and Family Engagement, Standards Mastery, and Vocabulary Cards modules. This post describes how to use the Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) module to ensure that the full scope of student learning needs is recognized and addressed.

Social and Emotional Learning is paramount to student success, and just as important as academics and behavior. I say this because social and emotional competence is essential for multiple situations. For example, a student might be learning behavioral expectations, exploring how to collaborate with peers to reach a reasonable math solution, or resolving a conflict that occurred at home or during school transitions.

Students’ capacity to learn goes beyond quality-planned and effectively delivered instruction. It includes other factors such as a healthy school climate, positive student-teacher relationships, constructive and frequent feedback, and supportive peer relationships. To navigate increasing demands and succeed in school, college, careers, and life, students must possess and be empowered to use the SEL skill set. 

Three Pathways

The Social and Emotional Learning module offers K–12 educators three pathways: Social and Emotional Learning, Behavior Strategies for Levels K–5, and Behavior Strategies for Levels 6–12. After selecting a pathway, you can quickly navigate the content by tapping the preferred topic or category in the scrolling bar across the top of the screen or scroll up and down the screen to view all available content.

Social and Emotional Learning

In the Social and Emotional Learning pathway, five core competencies with aligned instruction for each are addressed: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision making. Teachers can weave the competencies into learning expectations no matter the grade or the content, providing students opportunities for developing, practicing, and applying social and emotional skills. This pathway provides teachers with: (1) evidence-based activities for general classroom integration, and (2) SEL actions that promote student engagement, develop relationships in the home and strengthen the role of families in the education of their children.

Educators have a responsibility to understand SEL, know the needs of students taught, and design instruction in an encouraging environment to ensure that all learners achieve academic, behavioral, and social-emotional success.

Behavior Strategies

The Behavior Strategies (Levels K5) and Behavior Strategies (Levels 612) pathways provide bulleted strategies and tips that teachers can use as references for addressing situations. They may also be incorporated into daily learning experiences to promote safe and supportive learning environments. A range of categories are presented (e.g., Triggers, Time Management, Classroom Management, Common Misbehaviors, 9 Traits of Critical ThinkingTM, and Quick Tips) along with associated strategies and actions to prevent and address inappropriate behaviors. Categories vary pending the chosen module—elementary or secondary. Teachers may adapt and/or share applicable strategies to assist parents in coping with behavioral issues encountered while supporting home-based learning.

For all students and across all grades, the ideas, tips, and strategies within the scope of the Social and Emotional Learning module offer a foundation for success for student performance in academics and in social interactions. The knowledge gained in this module can contribute to the development of good students, citizens, and workers. Students who are explicitly taught SEL skills and behavioral practices reap benefits in school settings, in the home environment, and throughout future life encounters. Research shows that social and emotional learning can have a positive impact on academics and behavior, resulting in increased achievement, reduced negative behaviors, and improved attitudes.