Social & Emotional Learning Leaders

 In Administrator Resources, Advocacy, Assistant Principals Conference, Climate, Fall Professionals Conference, INALI, Leadership Development, Principal Programs, Professional Development Opportunities

Social & Emotional Learning and the application of Educational Neuroscience are both relatively new buzzwords in the world of educators today; however, the topics have been around for awhile. In these informative videos, Dr. Lori Desautels shares vital information for educators to understand how they can best address students’ needs within the school setting.

Are YOU a Social & Emotional Learning Leader? Have you really thought about your own approach, or better yet… your own moods and feelings when you are interacting with students? Many of us may consider the mood of the student, or even his or her background when trying to help, but an important factor we must consider is our own brain-state, as well. During Dr. Lori Desautels introductory video, she shares the four important components when dealing with students with trauma.

The four legs of the table, as Dr. Desautels refers to them, are listed below and all are extremely important. She does; however, stress the first as an incredibly important part of the puzzle.

First, we must take into consideration our own brain-state when dealing with others. We need to consider our own mood and feelings. Being an educator is a difficult and multi-faceted task. As Dr. Desautels notes, “We are feeling creatures who think, not thinking creates who feel.” It’s important for us to realize that our mood and thoughts significantly impact our interactions with others. Some school corporations are taking monumental first steps to create Neurocenters within schools for both adults and students to regulate and be educated.

Second, is Regulation. Regulation simply means calm and relaxed alertness. Co-regulation is actually relational discipline. Forming bonds and creating relationships are vital.

Third, is Communication and Attachment. Using touch points through face to face interaction is imperative to creating safe and fulfilling relationships. We must be emotionally attuned to students and one another. By being emotionally connected, we are better equipped to help one another through the process.

Finally, it’s important to teach both students and staff the science behind the behaviors, so that they can better address their own needs and the needs of others. ACE’s or otherwise known as Adverse Childhood Experiences, are common. Everyone has something they have dealt with from the list; however, studies show that children with 4 or more ACE’s are 32% more likely to struggle with academics. This is due to the fact that they are in a survival state. Dr. Desautels describes more in her article for Edutopia, here.

Don’t forget that the number 1 factor to be a Social & Emotional Learning Leader we need to consider at the start is our own mood and feelings. We are, after all, feeling creatures who think, and it’s important that we first realize that our own feelings do make an impact on our interactions with others. To learn more about SEL, you can attend one of IASP’s SEL Showcases that are taking place around the state in September and October. Register or learn more here!

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