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Inclusion Column

Social Emotional Learning

Welcome back to another amazing year at ASFM! I am looking forward to working with our whole learning community to deepen and expand our understanding of Inclusion and how it enriches the life and learning experiences of every community member.

Last year we focused on getting the message across that Inclusion touches everyone. We are all unique. We are all different, and we want to celebrate that difference. It is important because it is difference that gives rise to acceptance, creativity, problem solving, cultural sensitivity, empathy, resiliency, relationship building and communication. We know that these are valuable attributes that translate into highly marketable skills for students seeking their place in our rapidly changing world. More importantly, we also know that these same attributes are essential in creating a peaceful and positive buffer against the stresses and challenges in that same competitive and rapidly changing world.

This year more than 50 teachers from Nursery to Grade 12 will be supporting our students in developing social and emotional skills that will contribute to a positive classroom and social environment. Students first learn how to recognize and manage their own emotions, needs and impulses. They then move towards a greater awareness of the needs of others. This process is known as Social-Emotional Learning, or SEL for short.

Research has shown that SEL has the potential to positively impact academic achievement by as much as 11%. Not only will our students learn more efficiently, they will be happier and kinder, good citizens and great people you would be proud to know. This is just one more step in our efforts to become the most inclusive community possible, where everyone experiences a sense of belonging.

If you would like to know more, please contact Joe Stanzione or Eva Lamadrid and ask about our SEL Pilot Project.

Thanks for listening, and have an amazing year!

Laurie Behan,
Support Services Coordinator