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Why Is There A Disconnect Between SEL Training And Implementation?

One of the most relevant things to come forth from Education circles has been a concept called Social-Emotional Learning. The idea that a child’s success not just in the classroom and school environment but life is a no-brainer. We know that extreme stress affects adults and their ability to function in the work environment so why wouldn’t the same apply to children?

SEL training and implementation is not happening the way that it should. There is a divide between administrators and teachers getting onboard with SEL and adapting the concepts to fit into the day-to-day culture in the classroom.

If we are to make positive changes in our community over the long term, it will need to start with our children. The place where they can take advantage of learning how to be the change they’d like to see in the world should be their own school culture. SEL training and implementation needs to go beyond just having in-service training for teachers and administrators. Their endorsement of the concepts that make up SEL has to become a pressing need to see it through for the betterment of their students. How can we make that happen?

According to the CASEL report called Ready To Lead, their research found that of the principals they surveyed on SEL, 97% of them agreed that SEL was a real need and that it would improve the social behavior and academic performance of their students. Sadly, of that 97%, only 35% of those surveyed had an actionable plan in place for implementing SEL into their school culture. When you see these numbers, it is clear that SEL is a long way from mainstream adaptation in the public school systems at the moment. But why?

SEL Training and Implementation Is Just One More Thing To Do

Time is at a premium in the classroom. A teacher’s time is always competing with ways to teach children who have different ways of learning, abilities to receive information, along with varying behavior patterns. When you consider a teacher’s classroom is often shared with a co-teacher, a paraprofessional or other kinds of education service providers, one more thing to do seems to be the thing that falls to the bottom of the list.

Too often, SEL training and implementation just ends up feeling like “how do I fit this into my already time-challenged day?” This is not just on the teaching level but administrative level as well. Educators need to understand that SEL training and implementation would mean getting more time back in their day because they are meeting the emotional needs of their students, thus mitigating behavior challenges and emotional barriers to learning that too many of their students often face. The value and the return on investment of time needs to be realized. Think “big picture.” We want to impact our student's lives. Happy, confident students are better learners.

It’s Thought Of As The Latest Strategy Of The Moment

Concepts like PBIS and SEL training and implementation because they are new and innovative can be thought of as something we’ll try out in the field of education for a while and then move on to the next thing. No one is going to take the time to make it stick in their school culture if they really believe it won’t be around long enough to care about. Seeing the long term impact goes a long way.

Gathering stories from schools and school districts who have adapted SEL into their school culture would do administrators who have yet to formulate a plan a lot of good. Understanding best practices and avoiding common pitfalls means the goal of SEL training and implementation that works is going to be realized a lot sooner than thought. Perhaps it would be easier to adapt to if staff could see and hear how this new strategy is really working for their peers in other districts and what the definite plans are for theirs?

If There Is Little To No Oversight Then No One Will Care

How much effort will teachers and administrators put into seeing SEL training and implementation through if no one is really taxed with making sure it happens? Could we count the cost of training your teachers and administrators on better ways to do their jobs only to find out that training was never realized in their daily work? Would we want to put a price tag on it?

If SEL training and implementation is going to be of any merit or value, someone has to be making sure it is followed through on. The powers that care that it happens to need to be able to understand what the plan is, what will happen if the plan is not executed, and see examples of how it is working in student life.

Part Of The SEL Training And Implementation Plan Is Collecting Data On Success

It’s all fine and dandy to have a plan in place, but how to do quantify what has been done? What is the return on investment? The data collection and student example piece is one way to not only ensure that the SEL training and implementation plan is executed on but what the effects of that plan are over time. It allows administrators to see what is working and what isn’t and be able to adjust their plan for greater success in their school culture.

eCare Vault is the first solution of it’s kind to be able to collect data on students who have an executable education plan of any kind and be able to test, measure, and make adjustments for greater success. SEL training and implementation starts with a commitment from the top down. It ends with proof of success. To find out more about how eCare Vault can help you with your SEL Training and implementation, contact us today.

Thank you for sharing!