Guilford County Schools

September 2019

The Vision

Through social emotional learning, Guilford County Schools nurtures safe, supportive and equitable learning spaces where adults feel confident, empowered and responsible for helping students develop into productive and responsible citizens who thrive in college, career, and life.


What is Social Emotional Learning?

Social and emotional learning (SEL) is the process through which children and adults understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.

The Big 5

  • Self-awareness: Self-awareness is recognizing one’s emotions and thoughts and their influence on behavior. This includes accurately assessing one’s own strengths and limitations and biases, and possessing a well-grounded sense of confidence, optimism and growth mindset.

  • Self-management: Self-management is regulating one’s emotions, thoughts, and behaviors effectively in different situations. This includes managing stress, controlling impulses, motivating oneself, and setting and working toward personal and academic goals.

  • Social awareness: Social awareness is taking the perspective of and empathizing with others from diverse backgrounds and cultures, understanding social and ethical norms for behavior, and recognizing family, school, and community resources and supports.

  • Relationship skills: Relationship skills include establishing and maintaining healthy and rewarding relationships with diverse individuals and groups. This includes communicating clearly, listening actively, cooperating, resisting inappropriate social pressure, negotiating conflict constructively, and seeking and offering help when needed.

  • Responsible decision-making: Responsible decision-making is making constructive and respectful choices about personal behavior and social interactions based on consideration of ethical standards, safety concerns, social norms, the realistic evaluation of consequences of various actions, and the well-being of self and others.

SEL Quick Wins

  • Smile (Smiling can trick the body into helping you elevate your mood because the physical act of smiling actually activates neural messaging in your brain.)
  • Prioritize learning the names of co-workers and students. (Calling someone by their name connects you better with that person, but it also increases accountability, trust, empathy, and positive communication.)
  • Recognize leadership in self and others. (A leader creates a work environment in which people feel important and appreciated.)

Service Learning

As you start the year take time to really think about what service learning means to you and the students you will be serving.

Please take a moment to review the new service-learning handbook to learn more about what service learning will look like this year. The new service learning hours link is coming.

Educators! Check out this article on why students need responsible decision making here. Also, look at a blog explaining the benefits of responsible decision making in the classroom here.

Please reach out to Jacob Hicks ( the coach of character education and service learning if you need help or would like to co-facilitate a service learning lesson in your school.

The Media Center

Every Opportunity

Quotation Station

Quotes are a great way to reflect on your practices. Review these quotes on responsibility and and question how do they pertain to you? How do they correlate with responsible decision making? How can you use these quotes with your peers? How can you use these quotes with students?

Check out some ideas here.

Reading Corner for September

As you work with staff and students to learn and reflect on responsible decision making it is important that we incorporate it into our curriculum. Take time to explore the book choices for this month!

School Tools

Check out the following tools that reinforce responsible decision making and social emotional learning.
Big picture

Staff pick for Educators: The Energy Bus

The Energy Bus, an international best seller by Jon Gordon, takes readers on an enlightening and inspiring ride that reveals 10 secrets for approaching life and work with the kind of positive, forward thinking that leads to true accomplishment - at work and at home. Jon infuses this engaging story with keen insights as he provides a powerful roadmap to overcome adversity and bring out the best in yourself and your team. When you get on The Energy Bus you’ll enjoy the ride of your life!

Upcoming Events

9/23 - 9/27
  • Start with Hello Week Register here.

  • Day of Service Find ideas and information here.

9/27 - 9/28
  • National Character Day: Find resources here.


  • Service Learning Training- High Point (Ferndale Middle School at 4:30)


  • Service Learning Training- Greensboro (Franklin Boulevard Board Room at 4:30)

9/9, 9/10, and 9/11

  • MTSS for Behavior – Building Core: Members of a school leadership team sign up here.

9/24, 9/25, 10/14

  • Workshop 2 of MTSS – Behavior in the Classroom: CHAMPS – Classroom Management: Any GCS employee may sign up here.


  • National Bullying Prevention Month


  • Character Counts: Find resources here.

Upcoming Professional Development

Coming Soon!

Social Emotional Learning & Character Education