Social and emotional learning, or SEL, programs have flourished in schools during the last decade. These programs vary widely but most share a concern for five individual, student competencies: self awareness; self-management; social awareness; relationship skills; and finally responsible decision making. It is important for teachers and parents to know about and understand these programs. While lots of SEL programs emphasize K-12 student social and emotional learning, only a very few programs exist to promote, and help teachers explore their own emotional well-being. In this Specialization our central premise is this:
To facilitate students’ social and emotional learning, a teacher must know the student as a person. This means that the teacher must strive to know her or him self. In order to help students achieve a degree of well-being, teachers need to be aware of their own well-being.
In our Specialization, “The Teacher and SEL” the instructors (Randy Testa and Dan Liston, as well as Emily Price and Ben Kirshner) examine kindergarten through high school SEL programs, looking at both established programs and less well-known community-based and youth empowerment approaches. Along with this examination of K-12 SEL programs, we bring a much needed emphasis on the teachers’ well being.
Ben Kirshner, Dan Liston, Emily Claire Price and Randy Testa