Social-emotional learning (SEL) is the process of developing self-awareness, self-control, and interpersonal skills that are vital for school, work, and life success.
People with strong social-emotional skills are better able to cope with everyday challenges and benefit academically, professionally, and socially. From effective problem-solving to self-discipline, from impulse control to emotion management and more. Social Emotional Learning provides a foundation for positive, long-term effects on kids, adults, and communities.
How do we teach Social-Emotional Skills at California Creative Learning Academy & California Creative Learning Academy Middle School?
Cool Tools vividly teaches strategies for handling all forms of conflict and promotes healthy conflict resolution at California Creative Learning Academy. Cool Tools was created to ensure a caring community in which all students feel safe to learn and play without threats of physical, verbal, or non-verbal harassment of any type. Our goal is to provide students with an internal “toolbox” they can choose from when conflict arises, not just now, but for the rest of their lives. See some examples of Cool Tools below.
Responsive Classroom is a student-centered, social and emotional learning approach to teaching and discipline. It is comprised of a set of research, and evidence-based practices designed to create safe, joyful, and engaging classroom and school communities for both students and teachers.
Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports
Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports (PBIS) is a way for schools to encourage good behavior. With PBIS, schools teach kids about behavior, just as they would teach about other subjects like reading or math. The focus of PBIS is prevention, not punishment.
Sort it out/Repairs
Sort it out/Repairs when conflicts take place our students are expected to participate in a repairs/sort it out procedures to help them get to the “heart of the conflict.” With the support of their teachers or school staff students engage with each other and give their perspective of the conflict. Together they explore the decisions that were made that led to the conflict and come up with ways to re-establish their relationship. See example of the Student Repair Process below.
Our students created this video to showcase the repair process.
Family Repairs at California Creative Learning Academy we see ourselves as a community not just a school. For this reason when conflicts continue to happen between the same students we invite their families to come in to participate in a repair. This gives us the opportunity to work together as a team to help our students through this challenge.
Anti Racism and Inclusivity Curriculum
Anti Racism and Inclusivity Curriculum: California Creative Learning Academy is committed to engaging our students in difficult conversations about racism and inclusivity. See the You are My other Me section below to gather resources and partner with us in this mission.
Monthly community meetings where we create a safe and brave space to dialogue about difficult but important topics that are affecting our community and the world.
Parent Social Emotional Workshops
Parent Social Emotional Workshops we partner with parent educators to bring a variety of parent workshops to our community and the public.
You are My Other Me
Anti-Racism & Inclusivity Curriculum
Core to our school’s vision and “You are my other me” is the idea that we must acknowledge what is happening to all of us right now at the school level and beyond. We cannot ignore the fact that our community needs to address both the explicit and implicit biases and systems that exist to perpetuate violent actions against people of color. We must also understand our different entry points to this conflict in order to better gauge how to best continue to connect with different people in our community: some in our community are experiencing deep and enduring pain with issues that have not, or have only minimally changed over time; some in our community may recognize and empathize with the pain but have been privileged to have not personally experienced it; some in our community may be overwhelmed or at a loss with how to begin grapple with it. As so, we, as a school, a city, and a nation, need to continually engage in deep, challenging, and trusting work in order to bring about lasting change. This past week’s events have compounded on centuries old and generations-old emotions stemming from the unjust treatment of people like Rodney King, the Little Rock Nine, Manzanar, etc. We need to have an inclusive and ongoing dialogue to further the work of the Civil Rights Act.
Even though these are complex issues for children to grapple with, it is important that we consider how to be responsive to their needs, questions, and emotions, and not ignore what might be coming up for them. As a school, our teachers have been planning and sharing resources to help students make sense of what is happening. The more we support our students, of all ages, to think critically, ask questions, and understand multiple perspectives, the more empowered they will be.
Amplifying the Voices of Marginalized Communities
Our school is committed to teaching multiple perspectives to our students, even if it involves having difficult conversations about the mistreatment of groups of people.
Our teachers and staff have taken professional development workshops with The Museum of Tolerance and Facing History in Ourselves to assist them with this important work.
Our work with Native Communities and Land Acknowledgment
We are proud with our school’s commitment to work with local indigenous leaders, artists and educators. Through our artist in residence program we have partnered with indigenous educators to create honest curriculum that highlights the history of our community, city and country and puts into context the role of these communities.
On November 12th our school collectively acknowledged the territory of the First People of the Los Angeles Basin, where our school resides and honored their stewardship of this land in a ceremony. Our students presented songs they had written about the L.A. River and special Guest Lazaro Arvizu talked to our community about his ancestors and their traditions. Councilmember Mitch O’Farell participated in the ceremony and congratulated our school for our dedication to re-establish a healthy relationship with the land and all our relatives.
We will continue this work and promise to be active stewards and gracious guests on this land, thus weaving the first people’s traditional knowledge and practice into the fabric of our curriculum.
Teacher Professional Development
2020: Facing History and Ourselves
Our whole staff participated in a thought proving professional development today: Facing History and Ourselves. During this workshop, we were challenged to look at our own educational experiences and face the educational disparities that have shaped our educational system to answer these essential questions:
- How do we effectively reach all students regardless of their race, culture or social-economic backgrounds?
- What do we need to be mindful of when teaching in a community where students are suffering from generational poverty and inequity?
- How do we frame an understanding of equity and justice versus mere equality?
- Why is it important to place the racial achievement gap in a historical context?
It was difficult but important work that we are excited to bring it to our classrooms and students.
2019: Museum of Tolerance
Our entire staff attended a customized training with the Museum of Tolerance, where we worked on deepening our understanding in working with students on diversity, inclusion, and social justice.
A few of our teachers participated in an Anti-Bias Institute professional development to learn a unique pedagogical approach that integrates identity, diversity, justice and action into instructional planning and delivery. The goals of this PD were to:
- Define the goals of anti-bias education and explain how the Teaching Tolerance Social Justice Standards support a continuum of engagement in diversity, equity and inclusion work in schools.
- Identify anti-bias practices and strategies for social studies and language arts instruction at the elementary, middle and high school level.
- Apply the goals of anti-bias education to a variety of instructional scenarios and consider the impact on pedagogy and practice.
- Create at least one anti-bias lesson aligned to academic and social justice standards to use tomorrow.
Parent and Community Workshops
We offer parent workshops and public events that encourage our whole community to come together and dedicate themselves to creating the social justice change we needed in our world.
Resources for Families
- Article: “How to Talk to Your Children About Protests”
- Don’t Say Nothing
- Why Teaching Black Lives Matter Matters Pt. 1
- Bring Black Lives Matter Into the Classroom Pt.2
- A District Profile | Black Lives Matter at School
- Let’s Talk: Facilitating Critical Conversations With Students
- Black Lives Matter Teaching Lessons
- 31 Children’s Books to Support Conversations on Race, Racism, and Resistance
- A Kids Book About Racism (read aloud on YouTube)