respectSince Daniel Goleman’s 1996 book popularized the concept of Emotional Intelligence, researchers, educators, psychologists, business consultants, and others have embraced the evidence that the ability to understand and express emotions is at least equal to, if not more important than, traditionally measured IQ for long-term success. Too often, though, we forget that those skills must be taught just as we teach other academic content.

We now know that schools and districts that commit to establishing respectful, safe, and compassionate learning environments, in part by teaching these skills, experience improvements in academic achievement, student attendance, and staff retention. They also simultaneously reduce bullying, violence, and other behavioral issues. Furthermore, we know that those who demonstrate strong social-emotional skills and attitudes are more likely to graduate from college, earn more over their lifetime, and have better health and relationship outcomes than those who do not.

We have provided links in this section that have guided us in our work. We hope they will help to guide and ground you in up-to-date and respected research and statistics about social-emotional learning, bullying, and school climate. Consider the sample social-emotional learning (SEL) policies as you craft your own. Stay up to date on SEL in the news and expand your understanding by visiting the websites of other organizations who can help you extend your Operation Respect work.