At Mathews, we frame all we do with Social and Emotional Learning (SEL). What is SEL? Social and Emotional Learning is the process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.
At Mathews, one resource we use is the Second Step curriculum for Social and Emotional Learning. This program teaches skills in the following four areas:
- Skills for Learning: Children gain skills to help them be better learners, including how to focus their attention, listen carefully, and ask for help.
- Empathy: Children learn to identify and understand their own and others’ feelings. Children also learn how to show care for others.
- Emotion Management: Children learn how to calm down when they have strong feelings, such as worry or anger.
- Friendship Skills and Problem Solving: Children learn how to make and keep friends and to solve problems with others in a positive way.
AISD has recently adopted a new framework for SEL that includes competencies Academic Tenacity and Curiosity, Self Identification and Agency, and a Sense of Belonging and Cultural Consciousness. These skills are built on the foundation of a safe, inclusive, culturally responsive, academically engaging, and equitable learning environment. Teachers at Mathews will use a variety of resources and strategies to incorporate these skills into their daily lessons. Additionally, our Friday morning assemblies showcase SEL skills and competencies and our annual school-wide read aloud incorporates themes that tie into SEL.
We are proud to be part of a district that supports SEL. AISD is a recognized leader in urban education and one of the first districts in the nation to commit to the development of the whole child by incorporating social and emotional learning. During 2015-16, SEL reached all 129 schools serving all of the district’s over 80,000 students.
Families play an important role in reinforcing SEL at home and the following links may be helpful: