Social Emotional Learning at B40

Teaching for Better Humans - Social Emotional Learning at Branciforte Middle School
Posted on 12/11/2019
6th Grade Team Excited About SEL!

Social and emotional learning (SEL) is the process through which children and adults understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.  More than two decades of research demonstrates that education promoting social and emotional learning (SEL) gets results. The findings come from multiple fields and sources, including student achievement, neuroscience, health, employment, psychology, classroom management, learning theory, economics, and the prevention of youth problem behaviors.  While our SCCS elementary schools use Second Step SEL curriculum, until this year there was not a systematic approach to teaching SEL at the secondary level. This year at B40 our staff have taken on SEL as part of our mission toward meeting school and district goals of student connectedness. Our 6th grade team uses the evidence-based Second Step program as their foundation for teaching the SEL competencies of self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills and responsible decision making.  According to our 6th grade teachers this systematic approach has lead to a higher level of compassion and skills in problem solving with our students. Core teacher David Norman reported, "it has been incredible to see students working more harmoniously together. It’s been wonderful to observe them using the language and skills they’ve practiced to work out minor conflicts and problems without the need for adult intervention, and to exercise the courage to ask for adult help if they worry the problem might escalate. It has transformed our classroom to a more productive and positive place.  Additionally, B40 counselor Shelli Stepps and teachers such as Resource Teacher Kaitlin Fasse compliment the SEL instruction with mindfulness lessons in other classrooms as well. We are happy to see this investment in teaching (SEL) enhance our students’ capacity to integrate skills, attitudes, and behaviors to deal effectively and ethically with daily tasks and challenges.  

For more information about SEL see the Collaborative for Academic and Social Emotional Learning (CASEL) website at              

*pictured above is the B40 sixth grade team showing their enthusiasm for Second Step SEL Curriculum.   
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