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Jennifer Smith and Her Influence on SEL

https://selexchange.casel.org/2019SELExchange/blog

Jennifer Smith Miller has been tirelessly working in the field of social-emotional learning (SEL), and her method is simple – keep an ear to the ground. She believes that parents and teachers, who are one of the primary influencers in a child’s life, have a responsibility to help our children develop the crucial social and emotional skills. She focusses on the collaboration between the educators and the parents to create a thriving environment for kids to hone these skills to be successful in the future.

Why is SEL Important to Her?

Jennifer Smith is a firm believer in the fact that for children to succeed in life, they need to be emotionally well. In fact, in the numerous conversations she has had with parents and interactions with schools have only strengthened her beliefs. The parents are most concerned about the emotional well-being of their children. Factors like academic achievement, popularity at school, and familiarity with technology all come later. Schools also understand that students who are emotionally intelligent are more successful in tapping their potential.

She is now working towards leveraging this understanding and working with parents and schools to turn it into a bigger movement. Scaling the SEL efforts will only help more students to become what they want to.

Her Work

Jennifer Smith’s work revolves around educating parents and teachers to become more emotionally intelligent so that they can guide their kids better. She has recently published a book titled – “Confident Parents, Confident Kids: Raising Emotional Intelligence In Ourselves and Our Kids — From Toddlers to Teenagers.” Her writing comes from her extensive parent surveys, where parents were eagerly looking for a resource that addressed “big feelings”. But, it is an equally powerful resource for educators to understand SEL and develop their own skills.

The book recognizes the fact that the child and the adult are not static entities; they are continually changing. It offers guidance for adults to deal with emotional well-being at different stages of child development and dealing with their own emotions of anxiety, upset, anger, hurt, and more.

The comprehensive take of Jennifer Smith’s book is what has made her an authority in the field who understands the nuances of social and emotional learning.

She Continues to Strive

After providing a short guide on helping adults to improve the emotional well-being of their children, Jennifer Smith continues to hold workshops and sessions to help teachers and parents collaborate. Parents and teachers do not necessarily consider each other part of the same sphere. But, a focus on SEL may be able to change that. Through her workshops and other efforts, she wants to provide parents and educators with all the tools they need to become more emotionally intelligent and forge stronger relationships with kids to help them become more emotionally intelligent.

Jennifer Smith is working on a long-term plan that will produce powerful results in the future. She is providing parents and educators the space to learn, fall, get back, reflect, and try again. This process builds confidence, which in turn helps raise children who have a sound foundation to become more emotionally intelligent and have a better shot at success in life.

Related:

Jennifer Smith, SEL, SEL Platform, Social and emotional learning