Equipping Staff with Strategies to Intentionally Support Social Emotional Learning
Keywords:early childhood education and care, professionalism, community of learners, advocacy
Social and emotional learning (SEL) includes learning to be aware of and manage emotions, work well with others, and persevere when faced with challenges. Youth programs develop SEL by intentionally providing young people an opportunity to engage in real-world projects, work in teams, take on meaningful roles, face challenges, and experience the accompanying emotional ups and downs. To do so effectively, child and youth care workers need practical tools and strategies that support SEL skill-building. They need to be fluent in the concepts and language of SEL, and aware of their own SEL competencies and cultural values before than are ready to help support SEL with young people. “Practitioners play an influential role in social and emotional learning of the young people they work with, but it does not happen by accident” (Blyth, Olson, & Walker, 2017, p. 1).
Social Emotional Learning in Practice: A Toolkit of Practical Strategies and Resources is a freely downloadable and printable PDF that is available online. It includes activities, templates, and tools organized to help program staff: (a) enhance their knowledge of SEL, their own SEL skills and values, and how their program supports SEL; (b) establish expectations, give feedback, and integrate reflection; (c) infuse SEL into youth program activities; and (d) collect data for program improvement.
Blyth, D. A. (2018). The Challenges of Blending Youth Development and Social and Emotional Learning: Getting More Intentional About How Competencies Are Both Caught and Taught in Out-of-School Time. In Social and Emotional Learning in Out-of-School Time; Foundations and Futures. In H. J. Malone (Editor-in-Chief) and E. Devaney & D. Maroney (Volume Eds.), Current issues in out-of-school time. Volume 2: Social and emotional learning in out-of-school time: Foundations and futures (pp. 15-31). Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.
Blyth, D., Olson, B., & Walker, K. (2017a). Ways of being: A model for social & emotional learning. University of Minnesota Extension Center for Youth Development. Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy, http://hdl.handle.net/11299/195186.
Blyth, D., Olson, B., & Walker, K. (2017b). Intentional practices to support social & emotional learning. University of Minnesota Extension Center for Youth Development. Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy, http://hdl.handle.net/11299/195178.
Durlak, J., Weissberg, R., & Pachan, M. (2010). A meta-analysis of after-school programs that seek to promote personal and social skills in children and adolescents. American Journal of Community Psychology, 45(3-4), 294–309. doi:10.1007/s10464-010-9300-6
Jennings, P. A., & Greenberg, M. T. (2009). The prosocial classroom: Teacher social and emotional competence in relation to student and classroom outcomes. Review of Educational Research 79, 491–525. doi:10.3102/0034654308325693
Jones, S., & Kahn, J. (2017). The evidence base for how we learn: Supporting students' social, emotional, and academic development. Washington, DC: The Aspen Institute National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development, 2017), retrieved from https://assets.aspeninstitute.org/content/uploads/2018/03/FINAL_CDS-Evidence-Base.pdf?_ga=2.231283807.1779479876.1560872318-972602574.1560872318
Jones, S. M., Bouffard, S. M., & Weissbourd, R. (2013, May). Educators' social and emotional skills vital to learning. Phi Delta Kappan, 94(8), 62–65. doi: 10.1177/003172171309400815
Maurer, M., Brackett, M. A., (with Plain, F.) (2004). Emotional literacy in the middle school. Port Chester, NY: Dude.
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