“Sure, Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) would be a great addition, but there’s no way to add it to the plate; our teachers already have their hands full with preparing students academically, and there’s no way our board will let us direct resources to anything that doesn’t raise test scores.”
“My teachers would love to get more support for Social and Emotional Learning, and would be happy to commit more time to it, but our district office demands that our initiatives be evidence-based, and how do we really know if teaching SEL actually works.”
How often have you heard variants of one or both of these comments in your school or district?
For educators working with students daily, juggling the myriad of demands enhancing student achievement and navigating the complex regulations burdening them, these are entirely understandable reactions and concerns. It’s not that teachers, counselors, principals, and superintendents don’t care about life skills for their students; of course they do. They know more than anyone what a difference it makes when students can manage their anger, persevere during difficulties, exercise self-discipline in their studies, and get along with others.