Strengthening SEL in New Jersey

Moss Overcomes SEL Hurdles

Moss was well aware of the benefits of SEL curricula, as well as the hurdles that stand in the way of successful SEL education. One of the biggest hurdles is, of course, time. When Common Core expectations are high, and so much is already asked of our teachers and students, how can we ask them to take on this additional huge task of social and emotional skills education? Moss Kindergarten Teacher Christina Spring asked, “How are we going to juggle all of this?”

Using Technology to Power Up SEL at Moss

My task when I arrived at Moss was to help find and implement tools in the classroom that would allow Moss to extend and even further advance its SEL curricula from three main perspectives, 1.) making it even easier for teachers to provide SEL curricula, 2.) getting students more engaged and excited about the curricula, 3.) using technology as a tool to assist and strengthen Moss’s SEL work.

YouHue at Moss School

With such positive feedback following the piloted SEL small group instruction, Principal Cohen and I began working on another SEL pilot, one that could easily be facilitated by classroom teachers without any outside help in the future, would excite the students to increase their engagement, and would introduce a healthy technology to assist the work.

Healthy Technology to Support SEL

It was then that I realized that it is not technology that is harmful but rather the way we use it that matters most. If we teach students to utilize web-based applications that are useful for their mental health, physical health, or academics like YouHue, we are effectively adapting to better resonate and teach today’s youth — the generation of technology. There are companies, like YouHue, who take on the responsibility to design technology that helps, and does not harm, children’s delicate minds, empowering them to learn better. Such healthy technology tools advance the quality of education we can provide young people. They serve as assistants to expand our capabilities as educators.



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Kristi Kelly

Kristi Kelly

We help students understand emotions and communicate with their teachers.