Social Emotional Learning

Our Approach to SEL

SEL is the guiding lens upon which we base academic, discipline, and guidance decisions and is the binding approach to everything we do. It provides children with the ability and skills through which they will manifest Catholic Identity. Our teachers work to integrate SEL practices into the curriculum seamlessly throughout the day.
To assist in SEL skill delivery, our teachers follow the guiding principles of Responsive Classroom (pre-kindergarten through fourth grade), Responsive Advisory (Middle School advisory), and the RULER program created by the Institute for Emotional Intelligence at Yale University.
Knowing the families of the children we teach is a key component of our community-wide SEL approach. Lasting change begins with the adult community, so how the adults at school work together is as important as our individual competence.
    • Social Emotional Learning tree
Through SEL, students gain skills in five core competencies that researchers agree are essential to success in school and life.

Teachers at St. Gabriel’s use an evidence-based approach to teaching and learning—called Social Emotional Learning (SEL)—to help students develop healthy emotions and strong social connections.
  • The ability to show understanding and empathy for others (social awareness)
  • The ability to form positive relationships, work in teams and deal effectively with conflict (relationship skills)
  • The ability to make constructive choices about personal and social behavior (responsible decision-making)
  • The ability to recognize personal emotions, values, strengths, and limitations (self-awareness)
  • The ability to manage behaviors to achieve personal goals (self-management)
Research studies show that emotions affect how and why we learn and that social and emotional literacy supports success in every part of a student’s life. Through SEL, students develop skills of perseverance and resiliency to face academic or personal adversity; learn how to handle peer pressure; stand up for beliefs when challenged; and form close secure relationships.

We also know:
  • The social and emotional curriculum is as important as the academic curriculum.
  • How children learn is as important as what they learn.
  • Great cognitive growth occurs through social interaction.
  • To be successful academically and socially, children need to learn social and emotional skills including cooperation, assertiveness, responsibility, empathy, and self-control.
  • Knowing the children we teach individually, culturally, and developmentally is as important as knowing the content we teach.

Because of our integrated approach to responsive education through Social Emotional Learning, we further incorporate STEAM, Innovation, Service Learning and Differentiation throughout the day to allow our students to grow in perseverance, resilience, problem-solving abilities, communication, and collaboration skills while succeeding within our enriched and challenging programming.
St. Gabriel's Catholic School is an Independent Catholic school in Austin TX, educating children in preschool, kindergarten, elementary, and middle school.