For successful delivery of SEL content has to do with the need to model it to the students to effectively teach it. SEL is necessarily responsive and works moment-to-moment over time; because it’s all about behaving and interacting, a “do as I say, not as I do” approach doesn’t work. Students learn and emulate self-awareness from someone who is demonstrating it. For this reason, educators must continue to develop their own social emotional skills so they can set the example — working on their personal development, becoming more self- and socially aware, learning how to manage their own stress, and walking the talk.” - Heather Daly, Courageous Hearts and Normandie Nigh, A World Fit for Kids
|Dr. Dale Blyth
Whoever our students may be, whatever subject we teach, ultimately we teach who we are.” - Parker Palmer, Educator
Below is a reflection from Stu Semigran, Founder of EduCare Foundation, on the importance of adult staff and their social emotional skills.
There are a variety of valuable SEL skills that can be addressed through staff professional development. EduCare Foundation teaches “Eight Skills for Heartset® Education”. Some of these include tools for self-awareness, mindfulness, self-forgiveness, and empathetic listening. When these and other SEL skills are personalized and become our baseline, then we are more equipped to create an SEL styled climate with SEL curriculum and activities that can really “stick with” and impact our students.”
FOCUSED PROGRAM PRACTICES
Social emotional learning (SEL) is very important for teens and afterschool programs are well equipped to promote SEL skills. Below are some social emotional learning practices and activities for older youth that can be seamlessly incorporated into afterschool programs:
Mindfulness - The term ‘mindfulness’ is often associated with calm or total peace. But that’s not what it’s about. Mindfulness is a practice — meaning, something to be returned to again and again — that involves focusing on the present moment and accepting whatever is showing up. Doing this each day can help foster a feeling of centeredness, which in turn can result in reduced stress and more regulated emotions.
|Source: Ever Forward Club
|Source: Ever Forward Club
According to Darius Simpson, a former Ever Forward staff member, “A mask is a metaphor representing what we allow the world to see about ourselves. We all wear masks for different reasons, at Ever Forward we don't believe the mask is an inherently bad thing. Sometimes a mask is necessary to survive, get from one place to the next. What we've found is that when people, young men specifically, don't have a space to take off their masks and deal with what’s really happening for them, the mask becomes a part of them. That's where the conversation about what is living in what we call ‘the back of the mask’ comes into our workshops and circles.”
* * *