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Career-technical educators call social emotional learning 'a huge value' in schools

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Justin Hicks
/
IPB News
EMS instructor Melissa Lane said helping students learn how to manage their emotions is essential to keep them – and the people they might serve – safe in emergency situations.

Educators and experts agree social emotional learning, or SEL, has been – and continues to be – an essential part of what schools do. As many work to combat misinformation about SEL's value in schools, educators are pointing out its real-world impact.

Specifically, career-technical educators agree that it's an essential building block for students' success, especially at their future jobs.

Indiana includes three social emotional learning competencies in the state's employability skills standards: regulation, connection and collaboration. They aim to help students manage their own emotions, work better in teams, and network with people across different cultures and social backgrounds.

Patrick Biggerstaff is the director of the Area 31 Career Center programs in Indianapolis. He said social and emotional learning opportunities help students become better employees and successfully complete their CTE coursework.

He said they're also vital for students' success in traditional school settings.

"These ideas of connection and regulation and collaboration need to exist and be supported in every learning environment, in every school, in every home across the country," he said.

READ MORE: Here's how one expert describes social emotional learning and its effect on students