Social and Emotional Learning, known as SEL, is an integral part of education at Lab. SEL is essentially the process of developing social and emotional skills in the context of a safe, caring, well-managed, and engaging learning environment. It is the deliberate school-wide and classroom reinforcement of the following skills and attitudes:
Teachers utilize this model in the classroom by using teachable moments to help students develop decision-making skills. Lab teachers and staff understand that they are responsible for all students in the school and school community and will not ignore behaviors of which they disapprove. Underlying this approach is the recognition that students will care more about learning if they feel they are cared for as individuals. There is a commitment to a broad definition of intelligence, which, in addition to high academic expectations, is the development of social and emotional skills.
An important component of the success of SEL is a positive classroom environment. Teachers work in a multitude of ways to create this environment ranging from the enthusiasm they show for their subject to encouraging students not to be intimidated by challenging content or the abilities of other students. Further, teachers are encouraged to use their leverage in positive ways, reminding students that learning is a process that takes time but by the same token, expressing disappointment or concern when work is not completed.