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Jones, S. M., & Bouffard, S. (2012). Social and emotional learning in schools from programs
to strategies. Society for Research on Child Development Social Report Policy , 26(4), 1-

This article had a profound impact on my current teaching practice as it emphasizes
the importance of teachers social emotional competencies and an integrated approach to
social emotional learning into the academic class. Many teachers do not see the effect that
their own state of mind has on their students. I am much more aware of it now than I was
in the past after suffering from a traumatic car accident three years ago. I can see the
effects of my state of mind not only on my students but also on my three children. I am
much more honest with them now. As a new teacher we are often told to never let them
see you sweat or to never show fear. The balance between classroom management and a
supportive environment is often a discussion had between new teachers and those of us
who have been around for many years ( 20 years plus). It is difficult, if not impossible, for
adults to help students build the skills they themselves do not possess. It is vital, then, for
adults working in educational settings to have strong social emotional learning (SEL) skills
themselves. (Jones & Bouffard, 2012, page 14).
Jones and Bouffard (2012), focus on the idea of shifting from a program
implementation approach of SEL to an integrated strategies approach. They explore the
idea that new research warrants a new perspective (Jones & Bouffard, 2012, pg.1) of the
integration of SEL into the academic classes instead of a separate SEL curriculum. This time
effective, low cost alternative to separate SEL curriculum provides a range of new
approaches that can be explored in the general classroom. Jones and Bouffard (2012)
propose an organized framework for integrated SEL based on the five components of social
and emotional learning (SEL): self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, self-
awareness and responsible decision making. I can draw comparison to the Ministry of
Educations new curriculum that incorporates these SEL ideas within the new curriculum
framework for British Columbia. As a High school teacher, I have seen the curriculum draft
for the 10-12 grades and look forward to learning more about how social-emotional
learning maybe integrated into the curriculums. Will it be subject specific or across the
board in all areas?
Teaching a very content driven, academic class such as mathematics, SEL is not
integrated unless it comes from the teacher. Jones and Bouffard explain that because
academic skills and SEL skills develop and operate together, efforts to promote them should
be designed to promote both at the same time. (Jones & Bouffard, 2012, page 9). Were as
in the past I might have been inclined to believe they were seperate things ( academic and
social-emotional learning), I am under the firm belief that they are completely intertwined.
Math anxiety runs rampant through my classes with students who feel they are dumb or
cant do math. I have slowly built a program for grade 9 students to build their self
esteem and provide them with an adapted program so that they can celebrate their math
accomplishments and successes. Given the way in which I have changed my practice over
the years my classes are usually full of students who are at-risk, who need an extra special
touch or struggle with self-esteem issues. I would say that I take an integrated approach to
SEL and while not being able to specifically label it SEL in the past, can now see how my
practice relates to research. I can also see that making sure that teachers are aware of their
own SEL competencies can enhance their practice and provide a better learning
environment for their students.