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Why Social Emotional Learning (SEL) is Essential for Students

Social Emotional Learning (SEL) is essential in our schools, classrooms and for our students. This fall we are heading into a school year like we have never seen in history. COVID-19 has changed the way we ‘do school’ for students, teachers and parents. For months, the world has been left in a state of limbo not knowing what this next school year will look or feel like.

This leads to a common thread parents, teachers and students are feeling.  Stress – and a lot of it.

Stress is a chemical reaction that happens in our brains and bodies by a hormone called cortisol. A good hormone for when you need run from a charging bear or flee a dangerous situation, but not so good when elevated for long periods of time. Long term exposure to elevated cortisol can harm our physical bodies and affect our mental health. The result is one of more of these conditions:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Digestive Problems
  • Headaches
  • Heart Disease
  • Sleep problems
  • Weight Gain
  • Memory and concentration
  • Compromised immune system

Teachers and students have been under incredible stress for months during COVID-19 as they work through adjusting to the “new normal”. The new normal was a series of adjustments that included one of more of the following changes:

  • The pivot to online learning.
  • Lock down for months with no personal social connections.
  • Masks, safety procedures and social distancing.
  • A possible return to school with completely new and different protocols.
  • Putting teachers and their families in potentially risky situations.
  • A fear of continued virus spread locally and in school.

The list could go on. We add the stress that parents are experiencing as they navigate their choices and make the “right” decision for their own families.

Our children have had to adapt to a new way of living. First remote learning during their school year and then a summer with no more summer camps, limited time with friends. they know that come September they will face changes in school routines. The statistics keep telling us one thing. Our children are suffering from stress, and mental health challenges without the necessary tools to deal with their emotions in order to thrive. Right now they are just surviving.



Social Emotional Learning (SEL) is Essential in Every Classroom

The challenge of COVID-19 has dictated that we focus on our children’s mental wellbeing. They need lifelong skills that will benefit their short- and long-term success in life. Social Emotional Learning (SEL) in the classroom is an essential teaching tool to help our students thrive this year and years to come both in and out of the classroom. Teachers and school districts have tried to fit SEL into our classrooms, as a secondary tool for our students. It was a a subject that teachers have tried to fit in. This year, both the sake of our children and teachers, SEL is a core skill to help our children cope and understand how they are feeling with the changes. They need tools to manage those feelings and create moments of happiness every day. They need tools they can take with them and hold onto as life changes faster than we can all keep up with.

SEL Teaches Self-Awareness

Self-awareness involves understanding one’s own emotions, personal goals, and values. This includes accurately assessing one’s strengths and limitations, having positive mindsets, and possessing a well-grounded sense of self-efficacy and optimism. High levels of self-awareness require the ability to recognize how thoughts, feelings, and actions are interconnected.

SEL Teaches Self-Management

Self-management requires skills and attitudes that facilitate the ability to regulate one’s own emotions and behaviors. This includes the ability to delay gratification, manage stress, control impulses, and persevere through challenges in order to achieve personal and educational goals.

SEL Teaches Social Awareness

Social awareness involves the ability to understand, empathize, and feel compassion for those with different backgrounds or cultures. It also involves understanding social norms for behavior and recognizing family, school, and community resources and supports.

SEL Teaches Relationship Skills

Relationship skills help students establish and maintain healthy and rewarding relationships, and to act in accordance with social norms. These skills involve communicating clearly, listening actively, cooperating, resisting inappropriate social pressure, negotiating conflict constructively, and seeking help when it is needed.

SEL Teaches Responsible Decision Making

Responsible decision making involves learning how to make constructive choices about personal behavior and social interactions across diverse settings. It requires the ability to consider ethical standards, safety concerns, accurate behavioral norms for risky behaviors, the health and well-being of self and others, and to make realistic evaluation of various actions’ consequences.

How To Easily Integrate SEL Into The Classroom

The question many teachers and school boards have is how do they implement SEL into students learning with school budgets focused on safety and health protocols.

We have the answer for you. The 365give Challenge.

The 365give Challenge was created by teachers and students. Their goal was to create a program that was easy to implement and integrate into a classroom. Teachers can easily integrate The 365give Challenge into their classroom and curriculum at any time.

  • No training required.
  • No cost.

How does a teacher learn about the 365give Challenge? It is easy. Download our School Guide when you join our community as a classroom or school. The Challenge is easy to follow, takes just a few minutes a day, can be part of your daily curriculum and most importantly it is free. We believe every child in the world should have the resources they need to be happy, healthy, thriving human beings. There is no price for happiness.

Our program is so simple it can be started in Kindergarten. What is unique and different about this program is that it is driven by the kids with guidance from their teachers. Students feel in control of and empowered by their learning. As you go through the giving ideas as a classroom, and execute one give each day, the result is an increased collaboration between students, and feeling of connection to their school community for both in school and online/remote students.

The most important part is – it makes kids feel happy. Happy students make happy teachers.

The 365give Challenge gives students the sense well-being they need right now more than ever.

  • Control
  • Purpose
  • Happiness

We are at a pivotal time in our children’s education and right now the mental health of our children will be the best predictor of their success now and in the future.

Join the 365give community today! Your free membership is just a click away and you can get started! It’s as easy as 1,2,3 and will change the lives of our children and the world.


What people are saying about 365give

“I wanted to express my gratitude for the teaching you provided today. Your message was delivered eloquently, compassionately, and without judgment. The kids were engaged, and now have knowledge with which they can change the world. We all appreciated how you took the time to help us learn to build positive mindsets and practice happiness.”
Shelley Gardner, Grade 6 Ridgeview Elementary (West Vancouver)
“Actions really do speak louder than words, which is why I believe the 365give Challenge has resonated throughout my community. Every give we do is so important to us and leaves us happier and appreciating our lives a little bit more than before.”
Mahina Niyozova (Tajikistan)
“After watching the 365give TEDx Talk, I was inspired to join and begin a daily giving program in India. Today, along with 12 other volunteer women, we provide 100 meals to local underprivileged children in Bangalore for school every day.”
Deepika Ahuja, Mom (Bangalore, India)
“My life has greater meaning now.”
Renate Jorge, @BeKindBrazil and 365give Member, Family Program (Brazil)
“I just wanted to share that 365give really helped me. I am a better person now, thank you.”
MayLee, 365give Member, Individual Program
“This 365give Challenge has really injected excitement and extra enthusiasm in each work day as I think about what we can do. It has motivated me and the students.”
Cristina Peters, School Counselor (New York City, USA)
“I have seen a huge shift in energy throughout my classroom since doing the 365give Challenge. The Challenge has empowered my students to make a positive difference in the school’s community and beyond.”
Cella Adriana, Special Needs Educator /The Holliswood School (New York City, USA)
“The 365give Challenge helps students understand their impact on others. It opens avenues for introducing and discussing global and local issues in classrooms. It is powerful to watch students of all ages think about how they can make a change in another person’s life with one small act.”
Jessica Hall, Primary Teacher, French Immersion at École Pauline Johnson (West Vancouver, Canada)