Dear Ms Cooper,
As a part of the Coalition of Conservatives in Action I am dumbfounded by the lack of relevant information our group is using in this Social- Emotional Learning debate. From this article, the division between the good and the bad of it revolves around all the varieties of definitions being used for it. Somehow our School Board needs to come out with a formal document defining what it means for our schools and how teachers will be trained to first even understand it and then how they are expected to implement it.
To me, implementation is a curious term as from the outset of public education, socialization of children was very well understood and desired by parents and educators. Parents are terrified that the schools are going to judge their parental ability and teachers are terrified that they are going to have to be unlicensed psychologists and social workers. Most never signed up for that and rightly fear retribution for attempting to perform or not perform those duties.
As one in education I hope you see the lack of education by all parties is where the swords drawn is coming from. SEL can be used in meaningful ways when one looks at the necessity of having the ability to work collaboratively and independently being key to their success in their future world of work. That point brings up the competitive nature of grades on the curve and the zero sum game it instills in the students mind. ref “From Reopen to Reinvent” by Michael Horn.
I hope you can find something of use here to start meaningful conversations between the Board, educators and the public that equates to laying swords down and taking the time to talk this through so it ends up beneficial to the learning by our students