THE RESEARCH: WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL ABOUT SEL? 7 Dr. Brackett developed a system to help understand and master emotions. He writes, “By failing to address the most significant element of what makes us human, we are choking off the fire of passion and purpose, stunt- ing and distorting the growth and maturity of entire generations, and burning out the adults who are there to help them grow” (Brackett, p. 66). He developed RULER, a system to help understand and master emotions, and teaches that the necessary skills are: Recognize what we’re feeling Understand what we’ve discovered—what we’re feeling and why Properly Label our emotions Express our feelings, to ourselves first and then, when right, to others Regulate . . . not to suppress or ignore our emotions but to use them wisely to achieve desired goals (Brackett, pp. 66–67) Mary Anne Buckley taught for eleven years in Fairfax County, Virginia, where she developed the Friendshop Workshop in response to the fact that her school had students from forty different countries, speaking a total of thirty different languages, and not having the skills or language to appro- priately interact with others and with change. She is the author of Sharing the Blue Crayon: How to Integrate Social, Emotional, and Literacy Training, in which she describes the seven skills she addresses in her workshops: Getting along/being part of a group Empathy Kindness Peacefulness •R esponsibility Self-control Perseverance Giving and getting feedback CASEL, the primary organization that promotes the importance of SEL, identifies five core competencies children need in order to succeed socially and academically: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making. You say po-tae-to, I say po-tah-to. For those of you wanting to bring components of SEL into your storytime (and I assume you do or you would be reading something else), you are certain to see similarities between all
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