SEL, or social and emotional learning, is essential, but its definition may not be easy to pinpoint. In the past, education centered around academic achievement – give students information and expect them to remember it. But times have changed. Our understanding of human beings has changed. And as a result, what we teach in school has, and still needs to, change. Enter Social Emotional Learning.
Picture a bullying situation. See the place where it is happening, the people involved, what is being said and done. Now, here’s a question – how many people are there? Is it just the one doing the bullying and the victim? Does the one doing the bullying have a gang of friends standing around helping?
Sometimes our image of bullying is too limited. While the person doing
Friends mean a lot to the teens in your school. In fact, peer relationships are so important they are often referred to as the second family. And yet peer relationships can often be harmful in the life of a teen. Poor or dangerous relationships can lead to risky behavior, substance abuse, truancy, and worse. For teens, having the right friends can have a huge impact on where life leads. Continue Reading
Tylor blamed herself for everything wrong in her life and saw no hope for her future. She’d never been in trouble before, but she’d just gotten caught bringing marijuana to school and was suspended. As a result, she felt like everyone was disappointed in her, and she felt like she had irrevocably ruined all her dreams and plans for the future. She sat in suspension alone in her pain, seeing no way to recover. She blamed herself for everything wrong in her life. When she left school that day, she went into her basement and took her life. Protective factors could have made a difference in her story, and they can make a difference in your teens’ too.
Tylor’s story is not unique. Every day teenagers across the nation die by suicide, teens who should have lived and prospered, teens who deserved to be happy. Their deaths, these tragedies, impact families and communities forever. And whether anyone in your school has taken their life or not, you can be sure that suicide has had some impact on your teens one way or another. Continue Reading
On July 9, 2017, a group of five Florida teens, aged fourteen to nineteen, watched a man drown. They did not call for help. They did not try and assist him. In fact, the teens recorded the man’s final moments, taunted and mocked him as he struggled to stay afloat, and then posted the video of his death on YouTube. (CNN reported on the story.) And though this story speaks to many issues, one thing is certain. These teens lacked empathy. Continue Reading
Stress. With the unrelenting pace of today’s world, stress has become something that adults need to think about. Something that teens need to think about. And something that adults need to think about for their teens. But thinking about how to reduce stress can actually cause it instead of reducing it. No one needs that.
After twenty-five years, the results are in. The Aspen Institute National Commission on Social and Emotional and Academic Development has released their report on a new type of education. An education that encompasses not only academics but also social and emotional learning. Continue Reading
Teen suicide has reached epidemic proportions. Every day in the U.S. over 3,000 kids between grades nine and twelve attempt suicide. To say that suicide is not a problem for teens today is to deny the evidence before us.
But adults must do more than just be aware of the problem if we are to fight this epidemic. We must take action. Continue Reading