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Key Takeaways from Our Social and Emotional Learning Educator Panel

Key Takeaways from Our Social and Emotional Learning Educator Panel

Recently,  educators from our Educator Network shared their expertise on how they are successfully bringing social and emotional learning to their schools and districts.

As most educators know, the application of SEL is very unique to each student and each school. So, we asked our educators to share their successes and challenges in their experience.

What instructional methods are commonly used to teach SEL?

Scot Aden, a middle school (grades 5-8) principal from Iowa, talked about how his school changed their class length from 40 minutes to 70 so staff have the opportunity to connect with students. Then, the staff has weekly meetings to discuss students that they might be concerned about. These then turn into one on one meetings with those students, which give them a chance to speak up about what might be going on in their lives. Mr. Aden remarked, “We lay it out for them as, ‘we’re not yelling at you. We’re not talking down to you. We just want to talk to you.’ We sit down with the kids to voice our concerns. We let them talk. I think the kids really feel that we’re just trying to connect with them, and we care about them.”

What can principals, parents, and teachers do to promote SEL?

Mr. Aden discusses how important it is to get out in your school and be involved with your students, and the importance of building up your school culture. “People are used to the principal standing back and just kind of observing kids. Now, I’m usually out there sitting with the kids, talking with them, going from table to table getting to know them and my staff is like that as well.” He also discusses the success they’ve seen since implementing a 40 minute intervention time into the day, where teachers can work one-on-one with students for either academics or relationship building.

Why is SEL essential to the school and life success of all students?

In numbers that speak for themselves, Mr. Aden shared some of the data he has collected in two years since he’s implemented the mentorship program in his school. “Two years ago, we looked at our weekly or yearly attendance was. We had roughly 2,800 absences for the year going into last year. Once we implemented our mentoring program and our new schedule with the focus of building on relationships, our absences went down to 1,300. We also went from 142 fails two years ago, to 40. It’s pretty powerful data. The kids in our mentoring program had a 37% increase in their attendance, 36% less tardies, and their GPA went up 7%.”

Having these educators take time out of their busy schedules to share their expertise was an amazing experience, and this only scratched the surface of knowledge they shared during our hour-long panel. To learn more, watch the full recording of the webinar below!

If you’re interested in more of our informative and educational webinars, take a look at our list of upcoming sessions!'s picture
Brita Hammer

Brita started with Edmentum in March 2018 and currently serves as a Marketing Associate. She is passionate about providing teachers resources to help their students achieve in and out of the classroom. Brita earned a B.S. in Marketing from North Dakota State University.