Alisa and others in on the SEL thread, I’ll start a category for it. It sure doesn’t feel new to me. I started my career with Jeanne Gibbs’ books:

That was in the late 1970s and I still have my old tattered copy of her first book. I used to use to some of the exercises in it each week for my entire career to consciously build community, except for when I was in a school in which I didn’t feel safe to do them.

That’s one thing we haven’t said about social-emotional learning. For my entire career there has been a subtle kind of thought-form in each building (I was in 7 buildings over those years) that you shouldn’t be messing around in class doing stuff like that bc the focus was always supposed to be on the academics.

I don’t know if anyone realizes this, but in our field if we don’t do community building with our kids we cannot reach them. That is not true in math class. It is not true in science class. It is MOST true in language class.

Now that SEL is coming into the normal dialogue of best practices in language education, I feel vindicated for all that community building I did in my classes behind closed doors hoping an admin wouldn’t walk in and report me.



1 thought on “SEL”

  1. Alisa Shapiro-Rosenberg

    The irony is that NOW, it’s as essential in Math, Science & Social Studies as it has always been for us in WL. Kids have a lot of other choices, distractions, addictions – call them what you will – so everyone at the schoolhouse has to serve it up in a way that’s compelling, and respond to the social-emotional climate in the room.
    I believe this has always been true, but even more so now with so many other ways for Ss to access instructional content, and so many social emotional issues (the research has helped us recognize this subtext).
    Social outliers, anxiety/depression, ADD/ADHD, non-verbal learning disorders, neuro-atypical students…
    In some very particular settings or classes, perhaps, these are not as great an ‘issue’ to contend with. But I’ll bet those settings are increasingly rare…

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