Texas: TEKS & SEL Standards

Students in Texas need social and emotional learning support, not just in early childhood development but throughout their adolescence. Texas has adopted SEL guidelines for early childhood education only, however, the TEKS (Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills) Health Standards for K-12  incorporate a wide variety of SEL focused standards and skills.

Every teacher in the school community can cultivate SEL in their classrooms. We’ve pulled out the TEKS Health Standards that support SEL for every grade, K-12, to help you see how. No matter what subject area or grade level you teach, you can incorporate these standards into your sel curriculum and classroom environment.

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Elementary School: SEL Competencies & Learning Goals

Self Awareness

  • Recognize and label basic emotions.

  • Identify likes and dislikes.

  • Identify and describe how different situations make us feel.

Self Management

  • Identify and use strategies to calm oneself.

  • Identify and control impulsive behavior.

  • Communicate emotions safely and authentically using a variety of modalities.

Social Awareness

  • Identify and describe how others are feeling.

  • Recognize and value that different people have different perspectives.

  • Express empathy for others.

Relationship Skills

  • Identify ways to be helpful toward others.

  • Identify and use appropriate ways to ask for help and communicate.

  • Listen to others and respond respectfully.

Responsible Decision Making

  • Identify safe and unsafe situations and how to respond.

  • Describe what you can learn from a mistake.

  • Evaluate how others influence your decisions and behaviors.

Middle School: SEL Competencies & Learning Goals

Self Awareness

  • Divide goals into manageable steps.

  • Identify strategies to reach goals.

  • Describe personal skills and interests one wants to develop.

Self Management

  • Predict possible responses to a range of emotions.

  • List positive strategies for handling conflict.

  • Communicate frustrations and anger appropriately.

Social Awareness

  • Identify verbal, physical, and situational cues that indicate how others feel.

  • Recognize that students learn differently.

  • Demonstrate graciousness in winning and losing.

Relationship Skills

  • Identify ways to build positive relationships with peers.

  • Discuss stereotyping and its negative impact on others.

  • Recognize the differences between positive and negative relationships.

Responsible Decision Making

  • Participate effectively in class or group meetings to develop a sense of community.

  • Identify ways you can help your school or community.

  • Practice appropriate behavior that demonstrates self-respect and respect for others.

High School: SEL Competencies & Learning Goals

Self Awareness

  • Describe what motivates and hinders your efforts as a learner.

  • Analyze how personal qualities influence choices and successes.

  • Identify a long-term goal.

Self Management

  • Describe coping mechanisms for handling stress.

  • Demonstrate control of impulse behavior.

  • Develop a short-term plan to help you achieve your long-term goal.

Social Awareness

  • Evaluate conflict-resolution strategies and identify ways to improve them.

  • Demonstrate how to express understanding of those who hold different opinions.

  • Define unhealthy peer pressure and evaluate strategies for resisting it.

Relationship Skills

  • Analyze ways to establish and maintain positive relationships with others.

  • Develop strategies to request help from others and evaluate the effects of requesting help from others.

  • Show appreciation for your friendships.

Responsible Decision Making

  • Identify social norms and safety considerations that guide behavior.

  • Determine the extent to which your own decisions and behavior contribute to stress and come up with a plan for changing that decision.

  • Analyze the role of the media in influencing the choices we make.

A school or district-wide social and emotional learning plan can support all students, staff, and families in your community. Beginning this work in PreK establishes a foundation, but continuing SEL development in higher grades impacts other outcomes, like improved academic performance and decreased behavioral incidents. Additionally, a Tier 1 approach to SEL helps provide a common language around social and emotional skills so that students, staff, and families can all participate in creating a positive school culture. District-wide SEL initiatives often include more emotional supports for adults, reducing teacher turnover, and creating happier school environments.

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