SEL is the process by which social emotional competencies (SEC) develop. With SEL, individuals learn how to recognize emotions in themselves and in others and then use that information to manage themselves, their relationships and their decision-making. These skills grow from the connections made between students and between students and educators.
CASEL.org (the governing organization for SEL) has divided SEL skills into 5 core competencies:
- Self-awareness – recognizing emotions in your self and knowing your strengths and weaknesses.
- Self-management – being able to regulate your emotions and behaviors in order to achieve your personal goals.
- Social awareness – the ability to understand and empathize with others, including those with different cultural backgrounds, and recognizing social norms of behavior.
- Relationship skills – being able to form healthy relationships, through communication skills and conflict resolution skills.
- Responsible decision-making – being able to make constructive choices in accordance with your personal desires across a wide range of settings.
These competencies are the skills that allow people to connect with one another, lead fulfilling lives and achieve personal goals. As such, they are not just needed to be taught to students in order for them to feel more successful, teachers themselves need to embody these skills. SEL education is thus necessary for both students and teachers.