What is SEL?

Social Emotional Learning (SEL) is the process through which children and adults develop the fundamental skills for life effectiveness. These are the skills we all need to handle ourselves, our relationships and our work effectively and ethically. In OUSD, we believe everyone strengthening their social skills and competencies enhances our ability to connect across race, class, culture, language, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, learning needs and age.

SEL skills and competencies need to be taught and developed in our students and modeled by adults in classrooms and schools and throughout our system. SEL is not separate from academic learning but, in fact, is critical to the transition to and effectiveness of developing the conditions to engaging instructional practices needed to teach academic content through the Common Core State Standards and the Next Generation Science Standards.

The five SEL skills and competencies are:

Self-­Awareness: Labeling one’s feelings; relating feelings and thoughts to behavior; awareness of one’s own cultural assets; awareness of one’s own stereotypes and prejudices; accurate self­-assessment of strengths and challenges; self-efficacy; optimism.

Self Management: Regulating one’s emotions; managing stress; self­-control; self-
motivation; setting and achieving goals.

Social Awareness: Perspective-­taking; empathy; appreciating diversity; understanding the socio-­historical context of diversity; understanding social and ethical norms for behavior; recognizing family, school and community supports.

Relationship Skills: Building relationships with diverse individuals/groups; communicating clearly; working cooperatively; resolving conflicts; seeking and providing help.

Responsible Decision Making: Considering the well­-being of self and others; recognizing one’s responsibility to behave; basing decisions on safety, social and ethical considerations; evaluating realistic consequences of various actions; making constructive, safe choices about self, relationships and school.

Garfield Elementary School students

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