Social Emotional Learning

2nd grader in SEL class

Students must navigate ever changing and complex social pathways between kindergarten and 8th grade. 

For some, forming strong social bonds comes naturally, while for others it can be more challenging. With these differences and challenges in mind, MTS teachers have been trained in age appropriate social emotional learning programs that strengthen our grade level classroom communities. This training will help our teachers foster strong home/school communication and partnerships, and empower our students to advocate for themselves while caring for others.

Social Emotional Learning (SEL) is more than a fancy phrase for how children learn to manage emotions, feel empathy for others, and create healthy, positive relationships. SEL plays a critical role in student success. With this in mind, we provide a helping hand to guide the way. In kindergarten through 5th grade, we start each day with a 30-minute block for morning greetings and activities based on the Responsive Classroom model. In grades 6 through 8, students meet in advisory groups of eight to twelve students Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. These groups use the middle school program Developmental Design as the foundation for their morning meeting activities and discussions.

MTS Teacher Heather McCuskey hugging students
A parent volunteer reading a book to lower school students

Although our unique departmentalized structure leaves no two daily schedules looking alike, all Lower School students at MTS begin their morning the same way. Prior to first period, teachers start every day with an explicit focus on Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) – a program designed to allow children and adults to understand and manage emotions, feel and show empathy, and establish and maintain positive relationships. 

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