Today, S.C. Future Minds, along with a coalition of 30 statewide organizations, will support the implementation of social emotional learning (SEL) in grades K-12. SEL “is the process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships and make responsible decisions.”
In light of the current disruption of life as we know it, many students are left without the support systems they need. So, what can we do? We need to encourage our legislature to ensure that ALL children, regardless of ZIP code, have access to SEL practices and that our teachers not only receive training but receive the tools to teach these practices and the resources to take care of themselves. With 6,650 teachers leaving their position, we need to make sure they not only feel supported, respected and treated as the professionals they are but that they are also mentally and physically able to do their jobs.
Over the past few days there have been many scenarios where SEL skills are being put to action. These practices should not only be seen in a time of crisis but should be practiced daily. Teachers and our public schools are building the future of South Carolina, but they cannot do it alone. We must invest in them and our public schools to truly support them in that vital work.
Executive director, S.C. Future Minds Florence