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SEL Methods

The following Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Methods workshops have been developed to help adults improve their practice in supporting social, emotional, and cognitive development in their programs.

Programs will need to commit to one full 7-hour strand with at least 10 staff members to book these workshops (maximum of 40 participants). To meet the staff minimum, we encourage multiple programs to register together. For more information and to schedule a workshop, please contact contact Becky Wilcke.

Essentials of an SEL Framework
Participants in this workshop will explore a framework that is useful for focused on harnessing Social and Emotional Learning efforts on change in practice. Workshop activities will engage participants in examining SEL efforts in the context of both the field’s commitment to Positive Youth Development and the research, resources, and supports driving adoption of SEL practices in staff practices, program management, and continuous quality improvement efforts. Identify ways to have a greater impact on SEL development of young people, wherever they work with them.

Cognitive Development Strand

Foundations and Self-Awareness of Cognitive Development (3 hours)
As programs work to facilitate skill building for young people, youth workers must think about their readiness to facilitate cognitive skill building with young people. In this workshop, youth workers will take time to identify their own strengths, needs, interests, and constraints related to learning and cognitive development. Additionally, participants will strengthen their understanding of how their background, experiences, privilege, bias, and/or discrimination have affected their attitudes toward learning and their expectation about other’s learning.

Engaging Youth in Supported Struggle (2 hours)
It is in struggle that we all grow. Helping support young people through that struggle helps promote that opportunity for growth and learning. In this workshop, participants will practice fostering growth mindset to help young people persevere when they struggle and explore strategies that staff can use to support them. Participants will identify nuances for how these strategies may apply to work with the young people they work with in balanced, equitable ways.

Facilitating Problem Solving (2 hours)
Problem solving is the ability plan, strategize & implement complex tasks. Youth workers have the opportunity each day to build problem solving opportunities into programs and support young people with in-the-moment problem solving, all to support skill building. In this workshop, participants will learn the basics of how our brain solves problems, and will practice a model for helping young people define and explore problems, preparing them to take action and learn from them. Participants will apply the skills and content to problem-solving with young people in their context.

Emotional Development Strand

Foundations and Self-Awareness of Emotional Development (3 hours)
As adults, our ability to support young people in identifying and managing their emotions starts with our ability to do the same. In this experiential workshop, participants will deepen their understanding of how people interpret and feel emotions; how they personally experience hot buttons and emotional activation; as well as explore self-regulation. Time will be spent considering the ways our own emotional self-awareness can influence our work with young people, and identifying techniques for modeling empathy and emotion management in programming.

Emotion Coaching (2 hours)
By building knowledge of emotion coaching, and developing skills that teach young poeple to identify and safely manage their emotional experiences, youth workers can deepen the meaning of their work and promote positive skill building with them. In this interactive session, participants explore the ways our culture and personal histories can influence our understanding and interpretation of emotions; identify best practices for facilitating effective emotion coaching; and practice skills that support young people to accurately name and navigate their emotions. Additionally, participants will plan next steps for incorporating these concepts into their work with young people.

Cultivating Empathy (2 hours)
By incorporating and modeling empathy, youth workers can add value to their programs and promote positive skill building for young people. In this session, participants will practice strategies for supporting empathy building, including active listening skills that model empathy and encourage young people to express their emotions in a healthy way. Participants will also explore best practices for supporting empathy building in programming and plan next steps for incorporating these concepts into their work with young people.

Social Development Strand

Foundations and Self-Awareness of Social Development (3 hours)
The SEL competence and well-being of youth workers is necessary for creating programs where young people see social skills modeled and discussed. This introspective workshop is designed to support youth workers with their own ongoing social development. Participants will explore their personal identity, strengths, and values in social and professional settings, and how that influences their approach to communication, teamwork, responsibility, and leadership. Participants will identify ways to grow their social competencies and how that can impact their work with young people.

Fostering Teamwork (2 hours)
Teamwork – for some of us the word generates excitement, for some of us dread. With time, support, and facilitation, youth workers can help young people have both strong teambuilding skills and a sense of trust and group identity. Participants in this workshop will learn and apply group norm building and facilitation techniques. Time will be spent applying and scaffolding techniques to support young people in managing their communication styles and applying reframing conflict skills.

Promoting Responsibility and Leadership (2 hours)
Leadership and responsibility opportunities are not only foundational to high-quality programs, but are also important social emotional abilities for young people to build, develop, and practice. In this workshop participants will explore how responsibility and leadership fit within a broader SEL framework and develop practical skills to model roles and responsibilities and support young people in leveraging their strengths, interests, and leadership style as part of groups and relationships. Participants will practice applying techniques learned to their programs with an eye toward facilitating young peoples’ ownership.