Does SEL Training Matter? 4 Teachers Give Their Opinion
The demand for social emotional learning (SEL) in the classroom is growing—and so is the science behind it. Research has shown a positive connection between SEL programs and student success in academics, the school community, and life.
Training teachers to incorporate SEL into everyday teaching is crucial to maximizing its benefits in the classroom.
In this article, we will answer the questions:
- What is SEL?
- What is SEL Training?
- Does SEL Training matter?
- How can teachers get SEL Training?
We will also look deeper at the development of SEL skills, how they can help students feel safe and accepted, and stories of success from social and emotional learning programs.
What is SEL?
Social and emotional learning, or SEL, is a teaching and learning process to develop and acquire the skills, knowledge, and beliefs all individuals need to be successful in school, work, and life.
In their updated definition, the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) defines SEL as “an integral part of education and human development. SEL is the process through which all young people and adults acquire and apply the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to develop healthy identities, manage emotions and achieve personal and collective goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain supportive relationships, and make responsible and caring decisions.”
What is SEL Training?
SEL training for teachers is designed to help students learn how to manage their emotions, develop positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.
SEL training aims to equip kids with the social and emotional skills they need to thrive in their personal and professional lives. This training can happen in schools, workplaces, and community organizations. It typically involves a combination of classroom instruction, social emotional lesson plans , group activities, and individual reflection. Some lessons even include role play!
Does SEL Training matter? We asked teachers’ opinions.
According to a report by John Hopkins University and Harmony SEL, Educators Across the Country Find Value in Harmony SEL, students who participated in Harmony experienced a variety of positive results from the SEL intervention, including:
- Improvements in student academic achievement (i.e., increased writing and math performance)
- Improvements in students’ relationships and feelings of inclusion
- Improvements in development of friendships with peers from diverse groups
- Improvements in connection to and engagement in school
- Decreases in bullying and aggression
Furthermore, we surveyed users of Harmony to see how they felt about the platform, the SEL training, and how it fits into their classrooms, and here’s what they had to say:
“I started Harmony last school year, 2021-2022. I am a Special Education teacher and use it in a small group setting. I have had teachers and parents email me stating how much of a positive impact this program and SEL Training has had on their students.” – Harmony Online Portal User
“SEL is so important in creating a supportive and inclusive learning environment. Harmony has been so helpful in creating the awareness and dialog needed to be successful in creating a solid class culture.” – Harmony Online Portal User
“I often assign modules in both Inspire and Harmony to my undergraduates who are future teachers. ALL are well received, and my students strongly understand the concepts explored. I also use them when I need a refresher or to build my skills in a specific area of SEL.” – Harmony Online Portal User
“I am more committed to a safer learning environment for the children. I can also better recognize the difference between young children who are struggling and a child who is suffering.” – Harmony Online Portal User
How can teachers get SEL training?
Harmony SEL, a CASEL SELect program, has an Online Learning Portal that equips Pre-K-6th grade teachers with everything they need to integrate SEL into the classroom. This includes SEL activities such as:
- Everyday Practices: daily strategies that create a sense of community within your learning environment.
- Harmony Goals are created by the class and reflect how your students agree to treat one another.
- Daily Meet Ups build community as the class shares ideas and resolves issues.
- Buddy Up fosters diverse peer connections through meaningful activities and shared experiences.
- Quick Connection Cards promote thinking, collaboration, and conversation
- And more!
The sister product, Inspire SEL, offers on-demand courses and resources at no cost that provide SEL training for educators of all grades.
Social emotional learning teachers can further their professional development with certification programs and social emotional learning degrees, such as a Master of Education, from National University.
These online social emotional learning tools are available to homeschooling parents, too!
How can I get started with Harmony SEL or Inspire SEL?
The ideal time to train teachers would be during their pre-service training, but it’s never too late to begin learning. You can get started with Harmony SEL and Inspire SEL today by creating an account (or logging into an existing one) and exploring the platforms.
If you need extra help getting acclimated, we have webinars and events that give you strategies to implement our program best. We can also send trainers to your school district to help administrators on board.
Other articles like this:
Smart Strategies For Safe Spaces: How Teachers Build Social and Emotional Learning Into Lesson Plans