What is SEL?
Education has a lot of jargon. From MTSS to SAT to SEL, you might feel like you need to learn a new language in order to understand what’s going on at a school faculty meeting these days.
At ASSET we’re here to help! We believe parents are the primary educators of their children. In order to teach students something that will have a lasting impact, we must collaborate with those primary educators — the parents. That is why we want parents informed and engaged around what schools are doing regarding social & emotional learning (SEL).
Terms to know
Social & Emotional Learning (SEL)
The term SEL can cover a wide range of topics, such as focusing on stress reduction to fostering increased empathy. At it’s core SEL encompasses all initiatives aimed at helping students develop the ability to regulate their emotions and a gain a deeper sense of self.
The practice of becoming more attune and aware of your thoughts, emotions, body, and environment. Improving your mindful awareness helps in your ability to manage how you react to different emotions.
The University of Pennsylvania defines Positive Psychology as “the scientific study of the strengths that enable individuals and communities to thrive.” Essentially, it’s a field that focuses on how to help people succeed. Embedding more positive psychology practices into your every day life can help you overcome the “I’ll be happy when” syndrome — where your happiness is tied to earning a certain score on a test or winning the big game.
Positive self-talk is the process of meeting challenges and doubt with optimism and hope. It is about rewiring our negative thoughts into positive ones. In today’s age it is important to develop a strong sense of positive self-talk to combat social media’s negative impact on self-esteem.
Biological Stress Response
Part of being able to overcome stress & anxiety includes recognizing how we are hardwired to respond to stress. Our amygdala is responsible for emotional regulation and is predisposed to respond to stress & anxiety in three ways: fight, flight, or freeze. These biological stress responses originated as a way to help us in life-threatening situations. For example, when facing a large animal in the wild, this stress response enabled humans to instinctively run away, physically fight, or freeze and hope the animal doesn’t not notice them.
“Flipping your lid”
When you’re stuck in your biological stress response, we call this “flipping your lid.” It refers to when you feel like you lost control of your emotions and your “caveman brain” takes over. Instead of reflecting on how you have a choice of how to respond to stress, you “flip your lid” and become stuck in a fight, flight, or freeze response. ASSET’s curriculum is designed to help students prevent this.