This year, the SEL team at WSD will be structuring our delivery of SEL using a “word of the month” system. This is not meant to replace our existing SEL curriculum, but instead, will provide school-wide themes to enhance what we are already doing to support our children's social and emotional development. See the SEL WORD OF THE MONTHs below. 
In order for our SEL program to be truly successful, we need the participation and involvement of our parent community. Consistency is key when it comes to building these skills, according to developmental psychologist Stephanie Jones of the EASEL Lab at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. When schools and families have shared behavioral expectations and a common language for social and emotional skills, it can be “easier for kids to transition smoothly and be successful across multiple settings with many different adults,” she says.

December — CompassionTop of Page

This time of year is all about a spirit of giving. While SEL has very much to do with knowing yourself, it is also about understanding and caring for others. For these reasons and more, the SEL team has decided to choose compassion as our word of the month this December. As you know, much of parenting has to do with compassion and empathy. Here are some resources to help you model and teach compassion to your children:

Foster Self-compassion through MindfulnessTop of Page

November - Giving ThanksTop of Page

This month many of us will celebrate Thanksgiving. It will give us an opportunity to reflect on life's blessings and offer thanks. The SEL team plans to stretch it out all month by making gratitude our SEL word for November! The benefits of feeling and expressing gratitude are many and we are learning more and more about how gratitude can improve our lives (read more here!). Here's more links to help you incorporate gratitude into your family's culture as well as a great gratitude mindfulness video you can watch with your children:

Guided Meditation for Gratitude Top of Page

October - CourageTop of Page

Pain nourishes courage. You can’t be brave if you’ve only had wonderful things happen to you.
– Mary Tyler Moore
The SEL word of the month for October is courage. Almost everything we talk about regarding SEL comes down to courage. It takes courage to be inclusive. It takes courage to apologize. It takes courage to stand up to a bully. It takes courage to start a new behavior that you know makes you a better self. It takes courage to stop a gossiping conversation. All of this and more–it will take courage from us to model for our children. 
Here's some recommended children's books on the topic of courage (most of which we have here in our school library!):
  • Ish by, Peter H. Reynolds
  • Courage by, Bernard Waber
  • Sheila Rae the Brave by, Kevin Henkes
  • The Little Yellow Leaf by, Carin Berger
  • The Story of Ruby Bridges by, Robert Coles
  • The Princess Knight by, Cornelia Funke

CourageTop of Page

September 2018Top of Page

To that end, we will help keep you up to speed and informed through our various electronic communications and even tie the themes into parenting as much as we can. This is a team effort! Without further adieu, in honor of the incomparable Aretha Franklin, the SEL word of the month of September is RESPECT.

R-E-S-P-E-C-TTop of Page