3 Tools in developing SEL skills

SEL links to 21st-century employability

Research as of late shows that candidates need more than academic competencies, including a plethora of skills to thrive in modern day workplaces. By implementing SEL in your classroom, you are preparing your students for the workforce. Employers continue to say that there is a gap among these skills in most applicants. An all-around graduate with 21st-century skills as well as SEL skills will be much more desirable in today’s workplace. I will discuss 3 tools to improve your students SEL skills and help prepare them for future endeavors.

Tools to use

Incorporating Global Collaboration is a great project base and also a way to develop empathy. Teachers -through the use of technology- can discuss global issues and have their classrooms meet with peers from around the globe. Learning about issues from other parts of the country and the world allows them to develop empathy during the process. An example of an organization giving you the tools to make this is Adobe Youth Voices. Genius Plaza also gives your students the ability to collaborate. Students can create ebooks and provide students with a digital voice. They would be able to share their stories with the rest of the world. This could be your first step in addressing SEL skills with your classes and school.

Using mindfulness in the classroom is a fantastic tool to teach self-management. One of the ways I used mindfulness in my Geometry class was to have students close their eyes and visualize a problem. Also, if they start to become frustrated, I would advise them to take a deep breath. These simple steps improved my students’ abilities of self-control and helped them become more focus. My students appreciated the time I gave them to reflect and it helped reduce their anxiety when called upon.

Creating a ZEN space in your classroom is a tremendous asset for your students in allowing them to self-manage. My amazing wife did an incredible job of providing a space in her classroom where students can diffuse. In her ZEN space, she has bean bags, a Bluetooth speaker for ambiance, and a plethora of reading materials. Students were allowed to sit in the ZEN space whenever they needed a mental break.

Successful Stories

Successful stories of implementing SEL in the classroom were recorded in the second largest district in the US. The City School utilizes some of the above tools. Surveys taken by their students show that 89% of the student body feel the school is a supportive and inviting place for them to learn. Also, teachers implement advisory 4 days a week, a 45-minute period where a teacher and group of students interact on chosen topics such as responsibility, wellness or acceptance of others’ differences. As educators we want our pupils to flourish in the classroom as well as the real world. How are you helping your students develop SEL skills?

Jehu Somarriba

Educator looking to motivate and ignite the genius in every child through use of technology.

5 thoughts on “3 Tools in developing SEL skills

  • February 19, 2019 at 9:00 pm

    Excellent article. Very helpful.

  • February 21, 2019 at 2:15 pm

    I love the idea of instilling mindfulness. That is an extremely important skill to have as an adult, especially with all the stress that we face. GoNoodle has some great mindfulness activities on their platform.

  • February 21, 2019 at 2:44 pm

    I help my students develop SEL skills right now through self reflection (for example – asking them what sort of legacy they want to leave in their career and family) and using the MBTI to understand strengths and weaknesses.

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  • February 26, 2019 at 2:37 pm

    I love the concept of SEL for students. It’s a must have skill especially since the job market are becoming for strict which promotes stress in the early adult years.


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