I came across a book this past week that looks like it will have some great strategies and activities for integrating social-emotional learning and mindfulness into my future classroom and teaching practice. It’s called Everyday SEL In Elementary School: Integrating Social-Emotional Learning and Mindfulness Into Your Classroom, by Carla Tantillo Philibert. It looks like a great resource, and I have decided to share weekly posts documenting and discussing each chapter and my learning process along the way.
“If you were to bump into a former student at the grocery store, would you rather she remembered the details of the academic content you delivered, or that she had the social and emotional skills to be a productive, present, compassionate citizen of the world?”(Tantillo Philibert, C., 2017, p. 1)
Of course teachers want their students to become productive members of society. But some may argue that these skills should be taught at home, that teachers have enough academic content to teach, and that they don’t have the time to dedicate to students’ social and emotional learning. The reality is, many students are not taught these skills at home. Should these students be left at a disadvantage? Of course not.
As educators, we are in a position where we have the opportunity to teach students these skills that will be hugely beneficial in multiple aspects of their lives. Tantillio Philibert notes that these are not skills that can be glossed over and taught with a quick video – educators need to first develop our own social-emotional skills, emotional intelligences, and self-regulation strategies so that we truly believe in what we are teaching. The other thing to keep in mind are the resources available in this teaching and learning process – the teachers that exist outside of the field of education: pediatricians, trauma therapists, nutritionists, cultural experts, and physical therapists, to name a few. These resources and links provide a wider network and range to integrating social-emotional learning and practices into our own lives and into the classroom so that we can help to shape learners that are self-regulated, and socially and emotionally aware.