Selecting the right SEL program for your needs is crucial. There are many programs out there. But finding the right program is key to successfully solving problems. There are four key characteristics that lead to a successful program. This article will discuss the role of a comprehensive program.
Your social and emotional learning program must be comprehensive. This is best for your students and for your school. A comprehensive program will take a jumble of issues and problems and distill them into a clear way for your students to look at life, while using your budget dollars to the best of their buying ability. Don’t purchase a multitude of programs, each one designed to solve a different problem – a bullying program, an inclusion program, an LGBT program. The successful, comprehensive social and emotional learning program will address all of your issues by building character and community.
An illuminating first step might be to list what you are hoping to accomplish with your program. Your list might look like this:
- Grades/Test Scores
- Class participation
- Parent Involvement
- Alcohol/Drug Abuse
- Social Skills/Teen Pregnancy
As you look at your list realize the common root that all these issues contain – the inability of the child to make a reasonable, healthy, embracing choice. Any SEL program that does not address the root cause will not have long lasting resonance or success.
It is important to understand that, in the big picture, isolating problems like bullying or discrimination or reductions in suspensions and detentions, is a reasonable goal but not effective. These issues are only symptoms of a greater challenge – the challenge of guiding our children as they mature. Social and emotional learning programs that focus on only one issue miss the mark. It’s very much like treating the cough of a cold only instead of discovering and healing the underlying illness.
Your school and its students can conquer many challenges with the right social and emotional learning program. But you and your SEL must go to the heart of the matter by comprehensively giving your students the skills to choose who they want to be in life rather than by explaining that one individual idea is a bad idea, choice or action.
For a case study on how a comprehensive program like THE MANADOOB PROGRAM FOR SELF-ESTEEM focuses on an issue like bullying, please see the article Bullying – A Comprehensive Approach Through The Manadoob Program
Next time we will discuss the role of NATURAL PROGRESSION in SEL’s as you select the social and emotional learning program that is right for you.