Teaching to the Heart: Implementing Social and Emotional Learning in the Classroom

Katie Harris, Jesse Myers, Tenyce Doan, Taylor Hryniw, Melissa Bishouty.


Please cite this page as: 

Harris, K., Myers, J., Doan, T., Hryniw, T., & Bistoury, M. (2022, April 1). Teaching to the heart: Implementing social and emotional learning in the classroom. Classroom Practice in 2022. Retrieved [date], from https://ecampusontario.pressbooks.pub/educ5202/chapter/teaching-to-the-heart-implementing-social-and-emotional-learning-in-the-classroom/

Social and Emotional Learning (SEL)

Social and emotional learning (SEL) refers to the abilities and skills in understanding, recognizing, and managing emotions, empathizing with others, establishing and maintaining healthy and supportive relationships, making responsible decisions, and effectively navigating challenging situations (Woolfolk et al., 2019). Teachers who are comfortable and committed to implementing SEL strategies in their classroom experience positive relationships with their students, which in turn, enhances students’ academic and future success (Poulou, et al., 2018; Rassiger, 2012).

Podcast description

What can social-emotional learning (SEL) look like in our classrooms? Can we tie these intricate life skills to our classroom planning and curriculum? Today when trying to think up ways that we can do this for responsible decision making, Katie reaches out to fellow teaching candidates – Taylor, Jesse, and Tenyce – who inspire her through their examples in the remainder of the SEL categories. The following podcast episode, Making a Choice to Bring SEL into our Classroom, discusses the importance of SEL and the benefits of incorporating SEL into the classroom.

Audio Transcript Link

Five Components of Social and Emotional Learning

A chart illustrating the five components of social emotional learning. Self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision making.
Image created by Taylor Hryniw adapted material from The Casel Framework

Social and Emotional Learning Resources for the Classroom


It can be tricky to find where to start when wanting to incorporate SEL into your classroom. Here are some resources mentioned in the podcast episode, Making a Choice to Bring SEL into our Classroom, to help give you inspiration and ideas on how to bring SEL into your classroom!

 Explore the Ideas and Concepts More!

Throughout the podcast, Making a Choice to Bring SEL into our Classroom, we explored many concepts, ideas, and theories when discussing strategies to incorporate SEL into the classroom. Here are some links to the core ideas and theories that provided insight and inspiration to bringing SEL into the classroom.

Meet the Team behind Teaching to the Heart

Jesse Myers (Teacher Candidate, PJ; Faculty of Education, University of Windsor) has extensive knowledge in adult-literacy and mental health in youth athletes from experience working as a child and youth counsellor, national program coordinator at non-profit literacy organization, and varsity athlete coach. Jesse looks to apply his knowledge learned through curriculum development, classroom management, and data management in his future classrooms. Follow him on Twitter @Teacher_Myers

Katie Harris (Teacher Candidate, PJ; Faculty of Education, University of Windsor) has a passion for learning and teaching, approaching each teaching opportunity with all her heart. She strives to create safe, welcoming, and inclusive environments for all her students. Her strengths lay in her musical-creative abilities alongside a logical, critical thinking side. Follow her on Twitter @teacherHarris1

Melissa Bishouty (Teacher Candidate, PJ: Faculty of Education, University of Windsor) has a love for travelling, reading, and music. She is currently in the International Baccalaureate program, and she strives to incorporate her love of learning and exploring into her future teaching practices. She hopes to inspire her students to be confident and active learners who love to learn and experience new things! Follow her on Twitter @Mme_Bishouty

Taylor Hryniw (Teacher Candidate – PJ; Faculty of Education, University of Windsor) has a desire to implement digital technology into the classroom to allow for interactive and inspiring learning experiences that offers success for every student. Holding a motto of progress over perfection, she strives to create a classroom environment that allows for a growth mindset to be encouraged and philosophies of education as a lived experience to flourish. Follow her on twitter @hryniwt

Tenyce Doan (Teacher Candidate, PJ; Faculty of Education, University of Windsor) completed her B.Sc. in Biological Sciences at the University of Windsor. Being a lover of science, she hopes to spread her excitement for learning about all things living through engaging and interactive lessons. Tenyce has been a dental assistant for the last seven years and is delighted to translate her compassion and care for patients in the clinic into the classroom setting for future students. Follow her on Twitter @Ms_TDoan


Barrett, B. (2010) Is “safety” dangerous? A critical examination of the classroom as safe space. The Canadian Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 1(1).

Burgess, K. (n.d.). Self-Management (Social Emotional Learning). Landmark Outreach. https://www.landmarkoutreach.org/strategies/self-management-sel/

Choi, Y. (2001). The name jar. New York: Knopf. Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL). (2022). What is the CASEL Framework? https://casel.org/fundamentals-of-sel/what-is-the-casel-framework/

Goal Setting for Kids | Self Management | Social Emotional Learning | Read-Aloud. (2020, November 3). YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4KwFmV4d6Eg

Hamilton, J. (2017, March). Behavior Punch Cards. A Dab of Glue Will Do. https://www.adabofgluewilldo.com/behavior-punch-cards/

Jagers, R. J., Rivas-Drake, D., & Williams, B. (2019). Transformative Social and Emotional Learning (SEL): Toward SEL in Service of Educational Equity and Excellence. Educational Psychologist, 54(3), 162–184. https://doi.org/10.1080/00461520.2019.1623032

Juravich, J. (Jonathan Juravich). (2021, June). The Art of SEL, Episode 6: Responsible Decision-Making [Podcast]. The Art of Education University. https://theartofeducation.edu/podcasts/the-art-of-sel-episode-six-responsible-decision-making/

Kalish, L. (2020, September 27). Impulse Control Strategies for Students. Your Therapy Source. https://www.yourtherapysource.com/blog1/2020/09/27/impulse-control-strategies-for-students-2/

Kirk, V. (2021, November 15). 5 Tips on Developing Self-Motivation in Students. Connections Academy. https://www.connectionsacademy.com/support/resources/article/how-to-help-your-child-become-a-self-motivated-student

Kirsten. (2020, August 27). Resources for Teaching Responsible Decision-Making. Children’s Library Lady: There’s a book for that. https://childrenslibrarylady.com/decision-making-resources/

Managing Stress | Keep Calm Read-Aloud | Social Emotional Learning. (2021, February 3). YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w7pttIgXgdM

Manning, J. (2019, August 13). Back to school: 5 ways to establish SMART goals. Resources for English Language Learners and Teachers | Pearson English. https://www.english.com/blog/back-to-school-establish-smart-goals/

Ministry of Education. (2006). The Ontario curriculum, Grades 1–8: Language. Government of Ontario. http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/curriculum/elementary/language18currb.pdf

Ministry of Education. (2009). The Ontario curriculum, Grades 1–8: The arts. Government of Ontario. http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/curriculum/elementary/arts18b09curr.pdf

Ministry of Education. (2019). The Ontario curriculum, Grades 1–8: Health and physical education. Government of Ontario. http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/curriculum/elementary/2019-health-physical-education-grades-1to8.pdf

Ministry of Education. (2020). The Ontario curriculum, Grades 1–8: Mathematics. Government of Ontario. https://www.dcp.edu.gov.on.ca/en/curriculum/elementary-mathematics

Murray, A. (2019, January 3). 3 Simple ways to improve communication with parents. Teaching exceptional kinders. https://teachingexceptionalkinders.com/2019/01/3-simple-ways-to-improve-communication-with-parents.html

Ontario College of Teachers. (n.d.). Standards for the teaching profession. https://www.oct.ca/-/media/PDF/Standards%20Poster/OCTStandardsFlyerENPUBLISH.pdf

Payton, J. W., Wardlaw, D. M., Graczyk, P. A., Bloodworth, M. R., Tompsett, C. J., & Weissberg, R. P. (2000). Social and Emotional Learning: A Framework for Promoting Mental Health and Reducing Risk Behavior in Children and Youth. Journal of School Health, 70(5), 179. https://link.gale.com/apps/doc/A63602471/AONE?u=wind05901&sid=bookmark-AONE&xid=7587138e

PBS Learning Media. (2022). Bring the World to Your Classroom. Retrieved from https://www.pbslearningmedia.org/

PBS Learning Media. (2022). Social And Emotional Development. Retrieved from https://www.pbslearningmedia.org/subjects/preschool/social-and-emotional-development/

Penler, D. J., & Craig, W. (2014). Section 1: Education. In Bullying Prevention and Intervention in the School Environment: Factsheets and Tools, (7–27).

Positive Action Staff. (2020, August 6). Responsible Decision Making: An Introductory Guide. Positve Action. https://www.positiveaction.net/blog/responsible-decision-making

Poulou, M. S., Bassett, H. H., & Denham, S. A. (2018). Teachers’ Perceptions of Emotional Intelligence and Social-Emotional Learning: Students’ Emotional and Behavioral Difficulties in U.S. and Greek Preschool Classrooms. Journal of Research in Childhood Education, 32(3), 363–377. https://doi.org/10.1080/02568543.2018.1464980

Rassiger, C. A. (2012). Student-teacher relationships and academic success in at-risk latino and black middle school students (Order No. AAI3455591). Available from APA PsycInfo®. (964203374; 2012-99010-468). https://www.proquest.com/dissertations-theses/student-teacher-relationships-academic-success-at/docview/964203374/se-2?accountid=14789

Sayeski, K. L., & Brown, M. R. (2011). Developing a classroom management plan using a tiered approach. Teaching Exceptional Children, 44(1): 8–17.

Self-Awareness in the Classroom. (2021, April 4). The Social Emotional Teacher. https://www.thesocialemotionalteacher.com/self-awareness-in-the-classroom/

Self Management. (2019, June 27). YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tXKFNDFjKwY

Shapiro, E. S., & Cole, C. L. (1994). Behavior Change in the Classroom: Self-Management Interventions (The Guilford School Practitioner Series) (1st ed.). The Guilford Press.

Shortrasberry, K. [Kelly Shortrasberry]. (2020, July 9). 4. Social Awareness | Social Emotional Learning [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JidqWgPiJm4

Teaching Self-Management Skills: 5 Strategies to Create an Effective Plan. (2020, August 5). Positive Action. https://www.positiveaction.net/blog/teaching-self-management-skills

Tingle, E. (n.d.). Fostering positive relationships at school with Lianne Lee. In The Podclass: Conversations on School Health. voicED Radio Canada.

Westheimer, J., & Kahne, J. (2004). What kind of citzen? The politics of educating for democracy. American Educational Research Journal, 41(2), 237-269.

Williams, M. (2017). John Dewy in the 21st Century. Journal of Inquiry & Action in Education, 9(1), 2017.

Williamson, B. (2022). Teaching Responsible Decision Making Skills. Everfi Inc. https://everfi.com/blog/k-12/responsible-decision-making/

World Peace Game Foundation. (n.d.). About the Game. World Peace Game. https://worldpeacegame.org/the-game/

Woolfolk, A. Winne, P. Perry, N. (2019). Educational Psychology, Seventh Canadian Edition. 35-63.



Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

Classroom Practice in 2022 Copyright © 2022 by Dr. Catherine Vanner is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

Share This Book