Thomas Leadership Solutions
Innovative & Creative Solutions for Leadership Challenges in Business, Education, & Sport


Social & Emotional Learning (SEL)

What is Social and Emotional Learning?

“Social and emotional learning (SEL) involves the processes through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions” (CASEL, 2013). Most learning organizations focus on SEL as a systemic approach to intentionally cultivate a caring, participatory, and equitable learning environment and evidence-based practices that actively involve all students in their social, emotional, and academic growth.

“Why SEL?”

Learning organizations recognize that a student's ability to succeed academically, professionally, and personally is strongly correlated with their emotional and social intelligence. One of the most important considerations for learning organizations is the influence and knowledge of the many mitigating variables that impact SEL initatives. SEL best practices are not happening as consistently in the home, or across communities as needed. Therefore, at TLS, we have created SEL traingin programs and trained SEL Coaches on multiple strategies, tools, and resources designed to infuse SEL throughout Academic, Afterschool, and Summer Learning programs. Though there is research supporting SEL, there has not been a program created that focuses on the specific ways of supporting various SEL concepts and skills for program leaders and staff, one on how to “sell” SEL to program funders, or the best practices for integrating SEL into the core curriculum of learning programs and services. We have stepped into the void and are creating specific programs and services to address the learning gaps and training shortages.

Specific Programs:

I. SEL & Higher Education - This training is designed for strategies, tools, and best practices for HE administrators, faculty, and staff as they manage the 'epidemic' of stress and anxiety students bring to the campus

II. SEL & Educational Athletics - This training is designed for Athletic Administrators, Coaches, Parents, and Student Athletes (In different sessions) to recognize and celebrate the various ways that Athletic leaders contribute to the academic achievement for their student-athletes. It also is designed to share strategies, tools, teachniques (that's not a mistake), anecdotes, and best practices

There are four intended outcomes for using SEL:

1) Explicit SEL Skills Instruction;

2) Teacher Instructional Practices;

3) Integration with Academic Curriculum Areas; and

4) Organizational, Culture, and Climate Strategies. 

Short-term Outcomes include SEL Skill Acquisition (Focus on the Five Competence Areas; Improved Attitude (Focus on Self, Others, Learning, and Schools, and Enhanced Learning Environment (Focus on Supportive, Engaging, and Participatory activities). The greatest focus is placed on the Behavioral/Academic Outcomes. These include, Positive Social Behavior, Fewer Conduct Problems, Less Emotional Distress, and Improved Academic Performance. In the past, sites varied in terms of how and when they intentionally fostered SE competence among the children they served.

Site characteristics related to fostering children’s SE competence include:

1) SEL-focused positions;

2) SEL professional development opportunities;

3) SEL programming practices; and

4) Positive interactions between staff and children.

Our SEL Training programs examine these issues from all perspective and provide top of the line strategies, tools, and resources to support Organizational Leaders, Site Leaders, and Program Staff with the Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (KSAs) necessary to implement SEL programming, including issues related to site leadership, staff engagement and knowledge, as well as time management.