Three Steps to Successfully Integrating SEL into the Classroom

A recent survey by ReadTheory, which provides high-quality reading comprehension practice for students at all levels, found that when it comes to helping students develop their social-emotional skills (SEL), a overwhelming number of educators feel they rarely have the time or adequate training to focus on them in the classroom. With the pandemic, student mental health issues have skyrocketed. In 2021, the Centers for Disease Control revealed that 37% of high school students reported poor mental health during the pandemic, while 44% said they felt constantly sad or hopeless in the past year. The good news is that with billions of dollars in federal ESSER funds available, schools are investing in SEL programs to help students and teachers cope. However, the successful implementation of SEL requires more than financial investment. “What teachers told us provides a roadmap for how school leaders, families and communities can help support social-emotional learning for all students,” said Ron Kirschenbaum, associate director of ReadTheory. Kirschenbaum offers three quick tips for schools looking to successfully integrate SEL into the classroom:

Before instituting an SEL program, identify the learning needs of educators to determine the highest priority needs.
Using survey results, select instructional resources and strategies to implement SEL instruction at all grade levels
Plan and implement professional development to ensure the success of SEL programs.

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