Barriers to SEL Work: Present and Past
Mindsets and Money - Do we allocate resources in education to support the whole child and why or why not? Having worked across district, exam, and charters schools the themes of mindset and budget have come up repeatedly as facilitators or barriers. If school leaders have a vision and commitment to SEL they will leverage their staff and create the momentum to attempt to carry it out. Experienced leaders will also tap trainings and hire people who can help them iterate their vision, which is often a hybrid of educator and clinical skills. Where there is a will, there is a way. Leaders who understand that SEL and supporting student's emotional health is essential to academics and for children to be their best selves, will then work to allocate their money towards staff, materials, and development to support this. Even a principal with the slimmest of budgets will find a community partner, a non-profit, write a grant to get their students what they need to support their needs.
Re: Mindset, the time is now to lift up and elevate what we know to be true and is being born out with a vengeance during this crisis - relationship & resiliency are essential and SEL is a powerful conduit for social-emotional health promotion. Let's back-up shifting mindsets by gathering data from schools who have strong SEL programming and link it to engagement in distance-learning.
Re: Money, I don't have the intricate knowledge of CA budgets, but how can we decrease stress on individual principals/districts who want to implement SEL, but don't feel like they can do so without push back? Can Prop 63 be leveraged in more effective ways?
Positive change in history can come after major upheaval, let's break down barriers and do right by our students who need us to be bold and seek change.