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Together, Let’s Create the Change WE Wish to See in the World

Educational Support Services

Lauren Thorne

Certificated Sr. Grant Coordinator

Getting ready for school entails more than a good night sleep, hearty breakfast and a backpack with completed homework. In addition to learning academics, students true school readiness ideally includes social emotional skills as well as executive function and self-regulation skills — the mental processes that enable us to understand and manage emotions, plan, focus attention, remember instructions, and juggle multiple tasks successfully.

Early LearningSocial emotional learning and its relationship to executive function needs to be the focus in order for our students to be successful. In early learning, educators strive to gather to explore the power of their interactions with children and learn practical strategies that help build empathetic future citizens of the world.

According to researcher, Rasheed Malik, preschool children are three times as likely to be expelled from school for disruptive or unsafe behaviors as their K–12 counterparts. The high preschool expulsion rate has sparked national conversations and policy statements about building social emotional skills that prevent these behaviors.

Across the state of California, and the nation for that matter, seeing challenging behaviors in the classroom is common. In order to mitigate these behaviors teachers in early learning as well as K-12 can work to understand how to prevent and respond to them.

Early LearningLearning social emotional skills is similar to learning any new skill like counting or reading — it requires teaching and practice. The longstanding misconception has been that at a certain age, typically 5, children would magically develop self-regulation and social skills. Research has proven that self-regulation, like other skills, are taught rather than naturally developing.

To learn ways you can involve teachers and families in social emotional learning, visit:

Together, we can create and build empathetic future citizens in OUR world.

Lauren Thorne
Early Learning Educational Support Coordinator​
Educational Support Services Department
San Luis Obispo County Office of Education

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