News from Dr. Cruz: SEL 2.0
Resiliency, positivity, grit and determination—these are just some of the skills that are foundational to Social and Emotional Learning. Now that AISD has implemented SEL at all of our schools, we're moving on to SEL 2.0. This next iteration includes new practices that are integral to ensuring student success.
Mindfulness activities like breathing exercises help kids focus. Restorative practices counter old discipline techniques that don't work and replace them with a relationship-based approach. Moreover, trauma-informed care is helping staff support students who are suffering from intense negative experiences.
Students need to learn about the five SEL competencies: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationships skills and responsible decision making. They have been described as soft skills, but I see them as essential skills.
Transitioning from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset is a major tenant of SEL 2.0 and one we need to embrace. A fixed mindset is the approach that individuals have "fixed" skills—that their capabilities are limited and finite. A growth mindset takes into account that the brain is constantly evolving, and that individuals can develop all kinds of new talents. This approach helps us reframe a student's potential.
I'm proud of the positive, resilient people on our team who are preparing our students to excel. Thank you for the amazing work you’re doing now and for your exceptional commitment to our students.
Paul Cruz, Ph.D.