Evolution of SEL

The Evolution of Social Emotional Learning

Through the Eyes of an Educational Innovator

In the late 1990s, Andrea Samadi was working as a teacher for the Toronto District School Board, at Zion Junior High. She was looking for something to help her control her students that were labeled “educable” or behavioral, and her principal sent her to a “Tribes” workshop to learn new strategies to connect with her students. She knew there had to be more and she began looking for answers.

A chance meeting with her neighbor led her to discover the answers she was looking for when she saw a well-known motivational speaker working with 12 teenagers and changing their results in a matter of weeks with the material he was successfully teaching to adults. It was at this moment that she knew she had to take what he was teaching back into the classroom to help impact student achievement.

Andrea Samadi became the Executive Director of Bob Proctor’s “Youth Mentor International” and began working with students around the world with concepts like improving your attitude, learning to respond instead of react, goal-setting and achieving, and self-esteem concepts as students began to understand their goals, strengths and how their mind, thinking, feelings and results were all connected.

Youth Mentor International

The Original 12 Teens began sharing their results on stage at large venues, and to their amazement, the adults in the crowd were all taking notes! They were accomplishing their goals with ease, and overcoming obstacles and who wouldn’t want to learn and implement their secrets!

At the time, these skills were called “soft skills” and as a teacher, Andrea knew how these skills would impact confidence levels, that in turn would impact academics, but the research was not there yet.  There was not time for these skills in the classroom so Andrea began to create a curriculum with the goals of one day, helping young people improve the skills that are now called social and emotional learning.

Fast Forward to 2017

Almost 20 years later, SEL is now being added to mainstream curriculum with outstanding results. Student achievement is proven now to improve academic results, pro-social behavior, preparing students for College, Career and beyond and create the mental mindset needed for student’s future success.  Casel.org emerges as the leading organization for providing schools and organizations with the most current research on SEL. See the Past, Present and Future of SEL with a one hundred year perspective from

School Districts around the country are yielding outstanding results showing that Social Emotional Learning is critical for academic and life success. (See Edweek’s Webinar on Improving SEL with Measurement). There are now measurement tools (See Panorama Education) to measure SEL gains with attributes that Districts want to measure and results are being attained.

AchieveIT360.com released their Level Up Character, Leadership and Social Emotional Learning Program in 2014 and officially partnered with Arizona’s Department of Education as a preferred vendor. If you are looking for an easy way to implement social emotional learning into your classroom or District, please contact us for a consultation. 

We would love to learn more about your District goals, and help you to reach more students with engaging, relevant 21st Century Learning.



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