For the past few weeks we’ve been blog-sploring how sports and other extracurricular activities present natural Social and Emotional Learning experiences, particularly in the hands of the right teacher-coaches and mentors. We now interrupt this series to remind everyone that, though the school year is winding down, SEL in AISD schools is going strong until that last bell rings! Campuses are already setting the stage for next year as well!
At Sims elementary, students and parents participated in an end-of-year Sims Olympics day, which saw SEL resources for families promoted alongside active sporting events like awesome hallway broom curling!
Note the opportunities for practicing turn-taking, perspective taking and self management skills! Not to mention just having some good ol’ hallway fun.
Cunningham Elementary dedicated a whole bulletin board to reflect on growth mindset, and celebrate the growth that third graders have made this year!
Check out how students and staff alike are encouraged to consider not only what new skills they’ve gained this year, but also how keeping a growth mindset has allowed those beautiful brains to expand.
Speaking of bulletin boards, check out the Hart Elementary SEL bulletin boards that feature Social and Emotional Learning strategies in three different languages!
Middle schools are taking their Social and Emotional Learning to the very last minute as well. At Gus Garcia Young Men’s Leadership Academy, real live young male leaders are honing their 21st Century SEL skills by hosting campus budget meetings. Talk about dress for success!
Over at Lamar Fine Arts Academy, students participated in an end-of-year SEL lesson to practice and refine their ever-important and relevant group work skills. Each member of the group had a different challenge to overcome during the group tower-building project, opening up the conversation about natural challenges that arise in group work situations and how to handle them effectively. They will be using these skills for the rest of their lives!
Webb Middle School has created a beautiful bulletin board celebrating the students’ commitment to building and maintaining a peaceful school environment. Each leaf holds a peaceful, positive message written by a student.
Social and Emotional Learning flows through our district from elementary to high school, and there is amazing SEL happening at the high school level. Check out these Travis High School Rebel football players giving their time and energy to the children at Dell Children’s Hospital.
These students are applying all the perspective-taking and empathy skills that we talked about in our first post about SEL and football, and making positive waves in their community. And how about the Mr. Maroo challenge at Crockett High School, inspired by Archer Hadley and his campaign at Austin High? Students and staff are working to raise money to install push-button wheelchair-accessible doors at Crockett!
As a final example of how SEL skills are part of academic and personal growth over the course of a school year, MAPS students at Reagan High School use a Venn diagram to compare their mindset at the beginning of the year to how they feel now about their school and themselves:
These examples show just a fraction of the Social and Emotional Learning and growth experienced by AISD students over the course of the 2014-2015 school year. The explicit SEL instruction, curricular integration, and culture and climate built and maintained by schools all over our city are truly helping students prepare for higher learning, careers, and life in the 21st Century world. Just think: next year, every single school in the Austin Independent School District will have intentional Social and Emotional Learning on campus! We are truly #AISDproud and #SELsmart!