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Student and Teacher Essay Contests

Attention High School Students:

We at School-Connect are inviting you to submit an essay on how social and emotional learning (SEL), School-Connect lessons, and having a dedicated class for learning these skills has affected your life and future. We are offering $500 college scholarships for three students who best reflect the impact of their SEL experience.

Here are the essay requirements:

  • Minimum 300 words
  • Typed, double-spaced
  • Include your name and email address
  • Please address some or all of the following in telling your story:
    • What did you think of school and life before you had this class and learned about SEL? (What is your back story?)
    • How did SEL and School-Connect lessons impact you and your high school experience?
    • What were your favorite lessons and why?
    • What are two to three SEL skills you really benefitted from learning and using?
    • How did the lessons help you academically?
    • What school will you be attending next year? How does this fit into your "Mission Map" and goals for the future?
  • Submit essay by Friday, February 28, 2020
  • Email essay to: Julea Douglass at jdouglass@school-connect.net
Note: School-Connect may exert and publish portions of these essays on our website, in School-Connect brochures, and in articles we write for education magazines.

Teacher Essay Contest

For School-Connect Teachers,

How has School-Connect impacted your teaching experience? We at School-Connect are inviting you to submit an essay on how social and emotional learning (SEL), School-Connect lessons, and teaching these skills has affected your life and future. We are offering $150 Target gift cards for three teachers who best reflect the impact of their SEL experience.

Here are the essay requirements:

  • Minimum 300 words (typed, double-spaced)
  • Include your name and email address
  • Please address some or all of the following in telling your story:
    • What did you think of school and life before you taught this class and/or learned about SEL? (What is your back story?)
    • What kind of class do you teacher School-Connect? (e.g., freshman seminar, special education, advisory, alternative education)
    • How did SEL and School-Connect lessons impact you and your teaching experience?
    • What were your favorite lessons and why?
    • What are two to three SEL skills you really benefitted from learning and using?
    • How did the lessons help you as a professional?
  • Submit essay by Friday, February 28, 2020
  • Email essay to: Julea Douglass at jdouglass@school-connect.net
Note: School-Connect may exert and publish portions of these essays on our website, in School-Connect brochures, and in articles we write for education magazines. 

"Calm down!" - How many times have you heard someone tell you this? Our entire lives we have been told to "chill out" or "calm down," but when have we been taught the skills to manage these emotions? Never.

Today's youth face a complex and stressful academic and social environment. Mental health problems and suicide rates are rising among students as political and educational institutions increasingly emphasize quantitative academic measurements and endless testing. This disturbing trend will persist if students' social and emotional learning (SEL) is neglected..

CLICK to read Daniel's full essay


My head pulsates with my quickening heartbeat. Numb, yet my hands shake as blood rushes to my fingertips. The overwhelming collapse felt by a body in denial. 

"Can I at least see him?" 
"You don't want to." 

I could feel the weight on me. The weight of his smile and the empty seat left in his favorite math class the next day. The weight of the car that killed him. The grief heavy on my shoulders until my lungs were crushed by the weight, where I couldn't breathe and I didn't want to.

CLICK to read Miranda's full essay


You know that pain that lingers in your body? When the time is just perfect its intensity increases. Bloodshot eyes, stuffy nose, heavy chest. the body breathes in.out. it speeds up as the mind wanders, faster, and faster it goes, soon, you can barely keep up. This pain that had inconspicuously taken possession of my thoughts and emotions. I was drifting away-away from reality. I wasn't in control anymore. 

CLICK to read Cindy's full essay