Las Vegas, New Mexico – An internationally known expert on social and emotional learning will lead a free all-day interactive workshop at New Mexico Highlands on Tuesday, January 22.
Hector Montenegro will present the topic “Building an Inclusive and Restorative Culture Around Social and Emotional Learning” from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the Highlands Student Center, Suite 321, 800 National Ave.
The public is welcome, with the talk being of special interest to teachers, education administrators, and Highlands School of Education students.
“The goal of Dr. Montenegro’s workshop is to increase the knowledge and awareness of social and emotional learning strategies that can be integrated into effective teaching and leadership practices,” said Tranquilino “Kino” Hurtado, interim career services director at Highlands. “The end goal is to support all students to achieve at high levels in New Mexico.”
Sponsors for Montenegro’s workshop include the Highlands Career Services Office and the Northeast Regional Education Cooperative.
According to the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning, social and emotional learning is the process through which children and adults understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.
“Social and emotional learning is important because it helps remove barriers to learning by offering a creative and innovative way to improve student outcomes. It shines a light on the root of behavior problems in students, giving teachers an emotional connection with the student,” Hurtado said.
Hurtado pointed out that the social and emotional learning approach is a foundation for an inclusive learning environment for all students, and noted that students from Highlands who attend Montenegro’s workshop will gain early exposure to high impact teaching practices.
“They’ll also have the opportunity meet local superintendents and principals. This helps facilitate a lasting first impression which will lead to job opportunities upon graduation,” Hurtado said.
Montenegro serves as the senior district adviser for the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning. He is the president and CEO of Montenegro Consulting Group.
He is an internationally recognized keynote and motivational speaker, appearing at conferences, conventions, universities and schools throughout the United States, and abroad in more than 23 countries.
Montenegro began his career in education as a junior- and high-school math teacher in California, and went on to earn his Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin and his master’s degree from Stanford University. Over the course of his career, he has served as a superintendent for several school districts in Texas. Prior to that, he was a principal and vice principal for a number of years in Virginia.