Some Indian River County school parents are concerned that the district is trying to embed SEL, or Social and Emotional Learning, into its elementary Language Arts program.
According to Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction Richard Myhre, however, “Things got blown out of proportion.”
The Indian River County School Board set a July 6 deadline for adopting curriculum from a state-approved list. Regardless of which they choose, Myhre says that SEL isn’t an issue.
“Ninety-five plus percent of the curriculum (in question) is standard Language Arts,” he said.
For those who are wary of Social Emotional Learning, I can shed some light. As a long-term substitute teacher this past year at John Carroll Catholic High School in Fort Pierce, I saw SEL in practice, observing the ways it supported and undergirded academic instruction in every subject area.
Parents and schools have always taught kids more than reading and math — how to share, how to be patient, the importance of following rules. Slapping a label on it doesn’t change all that much in theory but using a formal, organized approach does improve effectiveness.