It has been nearly two decades since the term Social Emotional Learning (SEL) was brought into the educational lexicon.
Social Emotional Learning is designed to help students learn. When children are taught in a socially and emotionally positive environment, children feel a sense of belonging to the classroom community, and thus students are more likely to take a risk, try something new, and embark on new ways to learn and engage with others.
Social Emotional Learning (SEL) for students has sustained itself as a key instructional model amongst educators and community leaders because it works.
What about Social Emotional Learning (SEL) for teachers?
Would this same definition apply? If teachers feel connected to other teachers and supported by the educational community in their school, will they also be more inclined to take risks, learn something new, and embark on new ways to learn and engage students? Teachers have very tough, very important jobs—and oftentimes in today’s economic climate, they feel isolated and limited in their ability to reach the diverse array of learners in their charge. Teachers have one of the toughest and most important jobs in our country and deserve respect, support, and teacher tools that illustrate a level of professionalism and work well.
With longer school days, more rigorous standards for teachers to implement and mounting pressure from federal agencies to have children performing at top metrics upon completion of each grade level, teachers need the Social and Emotional Learning support of their communities and each other. With great tools that support teachers and acknowledge the work they must do, teachers can inspire our leaders of tomorrow.
Social Emotional Learning (SEL) educators and researchers believe that by integrating Social Emotional Learning (SEL) in schools, teachers and school leadership can teach students critical 21st Century Life Skills that will help both their personal development and academic performance.
When teachers foster a classroom environment that supports social emotional learning and rewards good social skills, a cycle develops in which positive interactions create more positive interactions. All of this develops a culture in which students and teachers respect and value one another. These kinds of interactions and using tools in the classroom that demonstrate the integrity of the teaching profession and the importance of learning strengthen relationships and motivate students and teachers to do their best.
According to Joseph E. Zins book, “Building Academic Success on Social Emotional Learning: What Does the Research Say?,” helping children in the social emotional realm actually enhances learning. If you think back to one of your own great learning experiences you may remember an environment or classroom where you enjoyed learning and you’ll likely also recall a strong relationship was at the heart of this experience for you. His book further goes on to explain that from the perspective of neuroscience, optimal learning environments reflect an internal brain state that is well-attuned for learning. Much of this information seems intuitive once you really start to think about it, but it is often overlooked or its importance is diminished in relationship to the pressures to achieve notable test scores.
When Chicago-based Teacher Peach set out to create tools that would be embraced by teachers and support the Social Emotional Learning of teachers, their own research confirmed that teachers want to be viewed as the professionals that they are and that they want well-made, well-designed materials that signal a sense of professionalism and pride in being a teacher. Teachers have one of the toughest jobs in the world. They need tools that demonstrate respect and positivity.
Teacher Peach products were designed with the mission of supporting the social emotional learning environment and the social emotional learning of teachers. The tools were wildly embraced by the teaching community both at national conventions and through online communities. If your school struggles with addressing the social emotional learning environment and supporting social emotional learning for teachers, please contact Teacher Peach to discuss your needs. From noted professional development titles to tools, kits, and supplies that foster a terrific learning environment, Teacher Peach is here for teachers—socially, emotionally, and for the long haul.
Long before founding Teacher Peach, Randi Brill had quite a day job. Randi founded her first company, Quarasan (qwar-a-san) in the basement of her home. Over the years, she’s built that 40-person company into a leading educational product developer, creating educational classroom content for publishers and school districts. Quarasan also helps school districts determine how to best leverage their own content assets in today’s complex educational climate.
Beyond creating great educational products and building strong business relationships that have flourished over the years, Randi is personally committed to helping the educational industry transform and evolve to meet the changing needs of today’s teachers, administrators, parents and of course—students.
Randi has always believed that teachers are the heart and soul of the success of education. So, when attending educator’s conferences, Randi began to ask teachers about their work and their frustrations. Teachers are charged with inspiring and motivating a wide array of students, while responding to growing pressures; Randi recognized that teachers could benefit from some inspiration and motivation, too. She began to study the tools and products that companies considered appropriate to inspire teachers. According to the teachers, and in Randi’s own view, the products were insulting, not to mention unattractive. Randi knew teachers deserved better. So she set out to discover exactly what kinds of support products teachers really want and need. In talking with teachers, Randi confirmed her belief that teachers want to be viewed as the professionals that they are and they want well-made, well-designed materials that signal this professionalism.