The Why And How Of Social Emotional Learning


"They would say something hateful. 

I was so young, I couldn’t comprehend why they were hurting me for no reason. 

I had so much love to give and they would bat it away. I was drowning in rejection. 



No matter how I reacted to the bullying they would roll their eyes and say, “Wow. OK, Perry…don’t make such a big deal about it.”

My feelings were too big for them, my pain too great. I made myself smaller and smaller so I could disappear. 

I started wearing zip-ups to hide my body in school every day. Then I started wearing black. More black. All black.

At a certain point whatever friends I had stopped talking to me. 

They passed me by in the halls as if they didn’t see me. It broke my heart. Near the end of the year, one of my classmates was harassing another student, and I had the audacity to tell him to knock it off. He brazenly stood up in front of the entire class and it felt like he proceeded to projectile vomit every insecurity I ever had at me.

He yelled across that classroom that no one liked me, that if I never came back to school no one would notice, and that I should just kill myself already. 

I stood there frozen and flushed. 

The room was silent, my classmates had nothing to say. 

I had no words. 

I looked over at the teacher and I stuttered in astonishment. The teacher responded, “Perry, you need to calm down.”

No one was going to help me. 

I decided then, right then, that I was done. My desperate, devastated, desolate soul, staring at my reflection in the mirror. My bloodshot, fed-up, tear-filled eyes.  I made the decision that I was outta here. I was going to leave my school. From then on, things started to shift. I connected with an amazing advisor in (another school). She told me I was an excellent candidate for the school and she was impressed with my talent”. Today Perry is married with children of her own.

“I look at them (my children) and I know that no one deserves to be hurt the way that I was hurt. ..we deserve to feel safe and seen in our environments."

Perry experienced bullying, and overcame the trauma to become an author, and a parent that “can teach my children how to interact with others. To be careful with our words. To be inclusive. To be kind”. With permission to share, this post is a painful way that helps explain the huge growth in home schooling – a result of bullying, of being bullied.

Social and emotional learning (SEL) is an educational concept that helps students gain skills in areas that reach beyond academic material. SEL helps students identify their feelings, and develops what we consider essential 4th IR skills such as: understand and communicate with others, build strong relationships, and make good, empathetic decisions.

Why is Social-Emotional Learning important? SEL teaches students crucial life skills, including the ability to understand themselves, develop a positive self-image, take responsibility for their actions, and create meaningful relationships.

SEL is appropriate for adults and students alike, it increases self-awareness, academic achievement, and positive behaviours. Academically, students who participated in SEL programmes saw an 11 percentile increase in their overall grades and better attendance. When students have supportive relationships and opportunities to develop and practice social, emotional, and cognitive skills across many different contexts, academic learning accelerates. (

Experiencing bullying at school can impact a student's mental health, wellbeing, and academic achievement. Social emotional learning (SEL) programs in schools is a promising approach to prevent bullying and its effects.

Stats have shown a large increase in the number of students participating in home schooling, largely a result of the bullying that these students experienced in school. Students are seeking safe, isolated teaching and learning environments. At Boston Online Home Education, SEL is seen as essential in a school environment, and to create a safe environment for personal growth for those who need it.





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