Social-emotional learning shows real staying power in our schools and classrooms, and social-emotional skills can be taught. One core social-emotional skill is social perspective taking, the capacity to make sense of others’ thoughts and feelings. These are the straightforward messages of Dr. Hunter Gehlbach’s article, “Learning to Walk in Another’s Shoes,” recently published in Phi Delta Kappan and profiled in the Marshall Memo. In the article, Professor Gehlbach (University of California, Santa Barbara and Director of Research at Panorama Education) outlines three actionable priorities for teaching students the social-emotional skill of social perspective taking.
In our work with schools and districts, Panorama supports educators in using social-emotional learning (SEL) surveys to better understand the strengths and needs of their students. Many districts use social-emotional learning data for district- and school-wide data inquiry and continuous improvement processes and to set targeted goals around social-emotional learning growth.
Increasingly, we’re finding that school leaders and teachers are interested in sharing this SEL data directly with students. Discussing SEL data with students promotes a deeper understanding of what is measured, what these SEL skills mean, and what students can do to improve. Drawing from our work with school districts nationwide, we’ve created a brief guide for sharing SEL data with students.
For three decades, Open Circle has helped teachers, counselors, and principals in elementary schools develop students’ social and emotional skills and create school communities that are safe, welcoming, and engaging for everyone. Now, teachers can explore classroom strategies from Open Circle in Playbook, Panorama’s professional learning community for teachers. The Open Circle resources now available in Playbook align with Panorama’s measures of social-emotional learning, including grit, growth mindset, social awareness, and self-management.
At Carolina Voyager Charter School, a K-4 school in Charleston, South Carolina, grit was the theme of the month in October. Even after October, students at Carolina Voyager are still excited to talk about grit. We asked students what focusing on grit means for them, for their peers, and their school. One fourth-grade student shared, “To me, grit means never give up, never be distracted from your goals, and stay focused.”
What is social-emotional learning (SEL) at your school? This year, school and district leaders are rallying teachers, staff, and students around specific facets of SEL that matter for their school communities, and principals and SEL coordinators are establishing common visions for SEL. One effective way to get a campus or district team on the same page about social-emotional learning priorities is to introduce the terminology and reasons why your community is focusing on SEL during a staff meeting or professional development session. But you don’t need to start your presentation from scratch.