Frequently Asked Questions
Empowering Minds offers a comprehensive, standards aligned social and emotional learning (SEL) curriculum with professional development that is Teacher Led, Evidence-Based, and Integrated with Academic Curriculum.
What makes the Empowering Minds curriculum unique?
We’re very proud of our program. Here’s why:
1. The Empowering Minds curriculum is easy-to-use. We designed it with the busy teacher in mind. In practice, this means we make sure that the lessons require minimal prep. We even check that lessons will work if a teacher doesn’t have a printer, projector, etc. Everything is online so that there are no books or props to keep track of.
2. We do mindfulness-based SEL. What is that? It means that not only do some of our lessons explicitly teach mindfulness, but we also start every lesson with a short “mindful moment” and when lessons explore other topics, like apologizing, we often rely on mindfulness as part of the skill (e.g. take a deep breath and calm down before you apologize…). It also means that every lesson is directly connected with CASEL’s five SEL competencies of self-awareness, self-management, responsible decision making, social awareness, and relationship skills.
3. Our program is accessible for both students and teachers. We don’t think SEL or mindfulness should be complicated and our lessons make sure that’s what students and teachers think too.
4. Our program is designed for easy schoolwide implementation. With the same theme across K-8 each week, administrators can tie the school’s SEL work together and even have older kids work with younger ones.
What comes with the program?
Depending on which license you get, you get access to 30 weekly units. If you buy the K-8 school-wide license, you get access to the lessons for K-2, 3-5 and 6-8. But, if you buy just the K-2 license, you get access only to those lessons.
1. Easy-to-follow lesson plans
2. Lesson outlines
3. Optional lesson scripts
4. Weeklong and school-wide extension ideas
5. Lesson variation guidance
6. Google slide decks
8. At-home resources to send home
9. Academic extensions to connect SEL to other topics
10. Recordings of mindful moments, led by students
11. Admin guides
How much does the Empowering Minds curriculum cost?
We work hard to make our SEL affordable. Take a look at our pricing page.
Do you offer professional development?
Schoolwide licenses come with up to two hours of professional development for school staff. We also provide implementation guidance for administrators and are always available to support individual teachers or administrators.
Do you offer non-profit/sliding scale rates?
If your school or organization is small, reach out and we’ll work with you.
I have purchased school-wide access and/or multiple teacher seats - how do I access the curriculum online and add users?
The plan admin will need to first log into their account. Once logged in, click Account (top right), click Subscriptions, then click Manage Members. From there you will see a link that you can send out to all your teachers.
Teachers then will receive the link, if they have an account already they will accept the invitation and join your team. For new teachers, they will set up a new account and join your team.
I’m having trouble logging in, what do I do?
95% of the time, this is solved by clearing your cache. If you don’t know how to do this, look here.
Empowering Minds Curriculum Facts
What grade level is the Empowering Minds curriculum? Is it differentiated?
The Empowering Minds curriculum spans grades K-8. While the weekly theme is the same across all grades (to make schoolwide implementation easier) we definitely differentiate the lessons. While all grades do a bit of all of the following, the K-2 lessons center on reading our children’s stories (included). The 3-5 lessons use more role-playing and games. The 6-8 lessons include more discussion, including topics on social media.
What topics does the Empowering Minds curriculum cover?
Do you have hard copies of the Empowering Minds curriculum?
In order to keep our program affordable, we don’t send out binders. But, you can print the lessons yourself.
Is the program in other languages?
Our program is in English and Spanish.
Do you have pre/post surveys for use in my school?
Yes. We use the Child Trends Survey for use before and after the program.
Background on Empowering Minds
Is Empowering Minds standards-aligned?
Our program is based on CASEL’s five SEL competencies, which is widely seen as the standard for SEL programs. Our academic extensions list the academic standards that we align with.
Is the Empowering Minds curriculum evidenced-based?
Not only are our lessons based on research on mindfulness and social emotional learning, but we’ve had studies done and they show that our program has positive effects on student persistence, self-control, and social competence. You can see the results here.
We already use some other SEL program but we need more. Will Empowering Minds conflict with it?
Yes, that can work. While our program is comprehensive and is best used as a whole, the lessons work independently.
Is your program CASEL-aligned?
Yes! We even list which CASEL standards each lesson focuses on.
SEL & Mindfulness Questions
Do I need to be a mindfulness expert to teach Empowering Minds?
Definitely NOT! We specifically make sure that our program is easy-to-use for someone with NO experience with mindfulness. Not only do we provide scripts for mindful moments, we provide recordings of kids leading them.
What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is the practice of paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, and without judgment. Mindfulness is learned by focusing attention on one specific aspect of the experience at a time (e.g. breath, sounds, body sensations, thoughts, emotions, etc.). With continued practice, we enhance our capacity to purposefully and skillfully direct our attention and awareness – a skill that is very helpful.
Are you teaching meditation?
No. While meditation is a form of mindfulness, mindfulness is simply the practice of paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, and without judgment.
Is mindfulness religious?
No. Just like singing or story-telling, which are used in both non-religious and religious settings, mindfulness is not in itself religious. In our program, there are no references whatsoever to higher powers, religion, or spirituality.
In Empowering Minds, students learn mindfulness through various practices such as mindful body, mindful listening, mindful eating, mindful breathing, mindful coloring, and mindful walking; however, we do not specifically teach meditation.