Supporting students to develop their social and emotional skills (SEL) is a task all teachers--which means every adult who interacts with young people in schools-- have always considered part of our work. We randomly prompt students to listen respectfully, to ask for what they need, to have goals for themselves, and to be responsible members of their communities.
Modern brain research has also identified that mastery of academics is dependent on social and emotional competencies. Leveraging SEL skills increases academic success. We’ve known that since we were kids; when we were motivated and supported we did more work and better managed our frustrations in order to reach mastery.
In this keynote, ASCD author and long-time teacher and school leader, Jeffrey Benson, will provide very specific strategies and activities that take what we are now doing-- our random and implicit prompts and praise to use SEL skills-- and make that an explicit and intentional component within our daily work. This is not another curriculum, not a panacea, and not a way to trick students into doing their work. By integrating SEL skills into our daily interactions and lessons, we relentlessly build student competencies, harness their attention to the deeper purposes of the lessons, and have a lasting impact on how students see themselves as members of their communities in and out of school. This keynote is an inspiration for the coming school year, reminding us all why we really wanted to work in schools with young people.