A Brief Introduction to SEL
We use the term Social Emotional Learning (SEL) frequently, but what does it mean. What is and is not SEL? This brief introduction on SEL will set the stage for two expert educators to share how they have implemented SEL in practice.
I am a former elementary general education and special education resource classroom teacher and a graduate of the University of Arizona’s, Educational Psychology Ph.D. program. As an Assistant Professor of Practice in the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Arizona, I work primarily with undergraduate students teaching the Childhood and Adolescent Development and Psychological Measurements in Education courses. My research focuses on teacher-student relationships and understanding student experiences of failure with the goal of creating interventions that will result in healthy,successful experiences for all learners.
School Gardens: A Tool for Social Emotional Learning
Children exposed to stressors related to poverty can have significant, lifelong academic, behavioral, and health challenges. In this interactive session, participants will learn about stress as a mechanism of poverty, how to use gardens as social-emotional interventions, and how to use a social-emotional approach to student management in the garden and in the classroom.
Using school gardens as a therapeutic tool, Moses launched the nationally recognized Manzo Elementary School Garden Program. Moses is trained in K-12 school counseling and is currently an associate director of the UA Community and School Garden Program.
Teachers will learn basic wellness modalities which have been shown by research to be effective in contributing to health and wellness. These modalities include: Tai Chi; often referred as “Joy through movement,” Finger Holds for balancing emotions, Pal Dum Gum movements for energy flow, switching for balancing emotions, and the Leadership dance.Goals/Outcomes: For teachers to have the tools to facilitate children’s growth and development through holistic practices to improve learning and mental focus, to promote emotional balance and to lessen inappropriate behavioral outbursts. The focus of this session will be on young children; however, it is applicable to everyone.
Candy Kennelly earned a B.A.S in Early Childhood, College of Education at Northern Arizona University. She served as the Pima Community College Student Representative as a member of the Governing Board for the Southern Arizona Association for the Education of Young Children (SAzAEYC) where she organized the first Early Childhood Education Club. She has been a member of SAzAEYC throughout her career. Currently, Candy is involved in advocating health and wellness education through tai chi and yoga practices as well as other wellness modalities in her classroom and throughout the Tucson community. In 2016, Candy co-produced an educational video to inspire teachers to teach wellness education in their own classrooms: “I feel it is important to remember every child is unique with individual learning styles, diverse abilities and backgrounds. It is my role as a teacher to promote wellness through holistic modalities to improve learning, mental focus, and to promote emotional balance for all children.”