Social emotional learning (SEL) is growing up and going to high school. For years, SEL was seen as a subject only needed in the younger grades. However, school closures, stress, and pandemic uncertainty highlighted the need for all students to learn how to manage strong emotions, solve difficult problems, “read the room” both online and in person, and maintain healthy friendships.

Why Is SEL Important in High School?

Emozi® High School SCOPE-IT Self-Regulation Strategy Poster

SEL is the process through which everyone learns how to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions. Aren’t these all the skills we want our future graduates to master?

As students age, their developmental needs change, and by the time they reach high school, they don’t just need to learn what emotions are but how to best manage them during a stressful and dynamic time in their lives. High school students must also be prepared to venture into the world post-graduation. The Emozi® High School curriculum is a school-wide resource that helps students gain 21st Century skills while improving school culture, campus safety, and educator well-being.

The Business Case for SEL

According to the World Economic Forum, soft skills are a hard need for the future of work. “At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, nearly 87% of workers lacked cognitive, interpersonal, and leadership soft skills for the future labour market.” The Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) reports that 77% of HR professionals said that improving employees’ soft skills are essential.

Emozi® High School lessons stress the so-called “soft skills” that future graduates need for the workplace—skills such as interpersonal communication, negotiation, self-advocacy, and financial planning. While not taught in the typical high school curriculum, hiring managers and business leaders list these and other soft skills as essential to success in the workplace.

The U.S. Department of Labor highlights networking, communication skills, teamwork, resourcefulness, and critical thinking as top “soft skills” that give candidates a competitive edge in the hiring process.

Many of today’s high school students have never held a job, so they are not learning these techniques through experience. They need to be guided through these steps before they leave high school.

Preparing Future-Ready Graduates Today

Through Emozi®’s interactive, online, and teacher-led curriculum, students learn how to perform a job search, use LinkedIn, write a résumé and prepare for an interview, and learn how to diffuse conflict with their peers, self-regulate under stress, focus on tests, make good decisions, and understand their strengths.

Emozi® helps schools facilitate 21st Century skill-building with little to no extra change to existing schedules.

Supporting Educator and Student Well-Being

As school leaders struggle with teacher shortages and increased state and national standards requirements, they are mindful of the limited amount of instructional time in a school day.

Research shows that students who receive SEL instruction have higher grades and test scores and are more likely to graduate from high school and attend college. These students also have better attendance and are less likely to be suspended or expelled.

Educators can integrate Emozi® High School’s 20-minute lessons into any class subject, from health, art, business, social studies, advising time, and many others. Or Emozi® can be used as a focusing activity, a brain break, or an extension activity during spirit or homeroom time.

Schools can get started at any point during the academic year with Emozi® High School’s online subscription. It’s site-wide and has everything you need to start, including teacher training and ongoing adult SEL skill development to support educator well-being.

A Strong Investment

Through Emozi® High School, schools can support students now and in the future, provide educator training and PD, and integrate lessons into any subject matter. With these and other benefits, the investment in Emozi® High School can pay dividends for students, teachers, families, and the community.

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Sponsored Content in Partnership With NASSP

NASSP allows select groups to share information and thought leadership with our program audiences.

About the Author

Anna-Lisa Mackey, MEd, is CEO of PATHS Program LLC. She is the co-author of The Social Emotional Classroom: A New Way to Nurture Students and Understand the Brain and the host of the “Social Emotional Us” podcast.

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