Social and emotional skills are vital in both school, and the workplace. They can help children and adults build and maintain healthy relationships, develop a strong sense of self, manage stress, control their emotions, and more.

CASEL™ has defined five competence areas that lead to social and emotional success for children and adults. Those competence areas are Self-Awareness, Self-Management, Social Awareness, Relationship Skills, and Responsible Decision-Making. But many believe there are three additional areas: Optimistic Thinking, Goal-Directed Behavior and Personal Responsibility.

March 11 marks International SEL Day, a day focused on raising awareness of the importance of social and emotional learning (SEL). There are many ways for teachers to incorporate practical strategies into their everyday lessons — on SEL Day and beyond — to help students practice and strengthen their SEL skills. Here are a few that teachers can use with their students on SEL Day, and all year round.

1. SEL Competency: Decision-Making Strategy: “Pause Power” Age: Elementary School

This competency is about how we solve problems and make choices that are based on our values, how we accept responsibility for our decisions and their consequences, and how we learn from experience.

Taylor Barberis is a marketing professional with a background in corporate communications, nonprofit services, and educational technology. In her role at Aperture Education, she is responsible for creating and managing the content creation process for Aperture’s email marketing, social media efforts, and downloadable guides. Her work expands the access educators have to better understanding social and emotional learning. Aperture Education provides examples for all grade levels in its Aperture 8 Guide and 9–12 Aperture SEL Growth Strategies resource.

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