Effectively Embedding SEL into Instruction: How School and District Leaders Can Make it Happen
by PRP Group, on 11/13/2023
As education leaders across the country can attest, the pandemic has continued to create serious, long-term gaps both in student wellness and academic progress.
It’s clear from decades of research that for students to experience positive academic outcomes, they need learning environments that support social emotional learning (SEL). These environments are where they feel a sense of belonging, have opportunities to grow their curiosity, and engage regularly in practices that help them regulate their emotions.
However, it’s also clear that teachers are feeling overwhelmed and burdened with all that is on their plates—especially as any new SEL programming can feel like “one more thing.” In a recent survey, educators shared that, “helping students catch up academically leaves limited bandwidth for SEL.” On top of that, in another survey, nearly two-thirds of teachers called out that weaving academics and SEL is simply challenging.
This situation poses a critical challenge: how do leaders create and sustain an ecosystem that addresses the needs of both their students and educators? From our work with schools and districts across the country, here are a few considerations we’ve gleaned at both the school and district level that may be helpful in navigating this challenge.