Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) in EWSD

  • Social and emotional learning, often called SEL, is a focus in Essex Westford schools as we work to connect our vision statement to our committment to equity. Our vision: Growing hearts and minds, for a better today and tomorrow: every day, every way, every one. 

    Learn more about this initiative on the district website's Social and Emotional Learning pages (opens in a new browser window) and at the links below. The same information is available in a brochure at your school building.

8 Ways to Reinforce Social & Emotional Learning at Home

  • parent holdign hand approaching school Adults at home play an important role in shaping the emotional life of our students. Think of yourself as “emotion coaches" for the children in your home.

    Here are eight easy things that can help children benefit from the work we do at school.

    1. Focus on the value of learning.

    Take time each day to ask what your student learned in school. Remember learning is for life, not just school - talk about what you yourself may have learned that day.

    2. Focus on strengths.

    Praise specific strengths, and talk about what your student did well before talking about what can be improved. 

    3. Respond to misbehavior.

    Follow up with consequences for misbehavior that teach responsibility and accountability, and encourage your child to look inward to learn how they can do things differently in the future.

    4. Manage your own feelings.

    Find ways to stay calm when angry to teach your child how to stay calm when they feel hard feelings. 

    5. Be willing to apologize.

    Apologize if you say something that might have been hurtful to your child, or that you didn’t mean. This can show them how to work through problems with respect for others. 

    6. Guide them to problem-solve

    Ask questions that help children solve problems on their own.  Example: “What do you think you can do in this situation?”

    7. Encourage sharing and helping.

    This teaches children that what they do can make a difference in the lives of other people.

    8. Read books and stories together.

    Stories can be a way to explore how people deal with issues that are common but hard, like making and losing friends, or handling conflicts. 

Additional Resources