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Behavior: low SEL equals poor academic rigor

Date: November 16th, 2016
By: Polly Bath

Polly Bath: What’s happened is we have been asked as teachers to really increase the rigor and take away some of the social emotional learning. Now, we have a difficult time with the rigor because we took away the social emotional learning. [laughs] That’s put us in a very interesting place.

Now we go and say, “What are we going to do? What are we going to do?”

We have to embed social emotional learning in every single minute of our day. It becomes everybody’s job, from the minute the kids walk in in the morning.

I tell my bus drivers, the minute they get on their bus, I tell my crossing guards in some of the cities, “You are the first person that kid is going to see in the morning, and you are the last adult that kid’s going to see in the afternoon. Therefore, you play a very important role. You are the bookends of our school.”

For so many of our kids that are coming into our schools not knowing who’s going to be home at night, not knowing if they’re going to be cared for, if basic needs are going to be met, this is so important.