The Air the “3 Rs” Breathe

Despite the constantly evolving world of education, the common connotations of school are still pencils, rulers, notebooks, reading, writing, arithmetic, etc. From desks to markers, raised hands to A+ stickers….the traditional perception of school in media remains unchanged. A quick Google Image search of the word “school” yields pages of images with school buses, stacks of textbooks, pencils, chalkboards, apples, and quaint one-room schoolhouses.

When asked, “What do you teach?” most teachers will reply with a subject…or a grade level (for which the follow up question is often “So what subjects does that include?”) What remains largely unacknowledged is the “subject” that gives reading, history, writing, math, science, etc. their life, their opportunity to be studied and absorbed at all.

Social-emotional learning is the process by which we develop the life skills of dealing with oneself, others in various relationships, and our work in an effective manner.

On any given school day, a typical content-area of learning may or may not happen (no math today!)….but social-emotional learning happens no matter what. All day. Every day. Value the adults, teachers, coaches, etc. in children’s lives who make conscious, reflective, and growth-minded effort to make transparent the social-emotional curriculum and know the importance of growing students who are skilled mathematicians, readers, writers, historians, and scientists….and who recognize that these skills are all the more powerful, accessible, and applicable when students are also grown to be collaborative, self-aware, relational decision-makers for themselves and their community. Watch this short video from Edutopia to learn more.

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