I first learned about Social and Emotional Learning from the NoVo Foundation and Education First. I applied for a grant to create a documentary about how digital portfolios helped my ENL and special education students find their voice.
As a grant recipient, I was able to attend the NoVo Foundation SEL in Action convening, where I met amazing people and learn about the potential of SEL. The next year, I received another grant, this time to implement Flexible Seating, which became a focal point of my writing and thinking for several years.
Then, in 2019, I had the amazing opportunity to become a Teacher on Special Assignment as the Coordinator of Alternative Education and Interventions. I received another NoVo Foundation grant to explore identity through artistic expression. Students in this Alternative Education program will be publishing a book in the spring where these #REACH students will showcase their creative ideas about who they are.
Why SEL then? The reason that I have turned all of my attention to Social Emotional learning is that it is a lens that helps teachers focus in on who they are teaching instead of just what they are teaching, and that changes everything.