Sitting in the oral surgeon’s office for my son’s wisdom teeth extraction I have many examples of my social and emotional learning. First, I am very self-aware of anxiety and concern for him, first time in sedation, the procedure, the recovery, and standard mom emotion. Self-management is helpful as I calm myself with some deep breathes and give him information and make jokes (had to sign that we would not sell the pain medicine being issued, darn, that was our spring break fund). Because I know him (social awareness), I know asking him ten times if he is okay does not help. It helps me, (self-awareness and self-management), but irritates him (social awareness). We have a fun and understanding relationship so humor, information, and details help us both. And although he did not see the point of getting his wisdom teeth out we were able to make this responsible decision together.
Social and emotional learning is happening all the time. We are likely using SEL skills regularly without even realizing it. Some skills come naturally and others we need to practice and plan for. Yet, SEL is not a new concept, it is a way of being with ourselves and relating to others. In a recent webinar poll 47% of participants were moderately aware of SEL yet by the end of the session 100% of participants acknowledged they use SEL skills already and more often than they realized.
Take a moment and pause, consider, how am I self-aware, managing self, socially aware, skillful in relationships, and making responsible decisions…? See, you too are socially and emotionally learning in real time.