By Saga Briggs:
“It’s no secret that social and emotional well-being can directly influence academic outcomes. When we are in tune with our emotions, we pay attention to the right things and make sound decisions; when we fail to manage our feelings, our thinking becomes impaired. Many of us have been incorporating social-emotional learning (SEL) into our lesson plans for years. So what’s the deal with this “mindfulness” movement we keep hearing so much about?
First off, mindfulness is not a replacement for social-emotional learning; it’s one strategy that supports it. Goals of SEL cover everything from self-management and independent growth to communication with and respect toward others. Practising mindfulness is one way to achieve these goals, along with other strategies like community service, collaborative learning, and exercises in emotional awareness. But unlike other strategies, mindfulness has the power to effect change in any setting, at any time, with or without the presence of others.
SEL = Social-emotional learning.