Social and emotional learning (SEL) is becoming a focus in the academia. At national, state and local level, educators have recognized the importance of SEL and its pivotal role in the wholesome development of children. According to the Nobel Prize Winner, James Heckman, “nurturing children’s non-cognitive skills, giving them social, emotional and behavioral benefits that lead to success later in life” are the best returns from the investment in education. So, experts already believe in the power of structure social-emotional programs like SEL Adventures to enable children to achieve their full potential. Here is how such a program can completely change a generation.
Improved Academic Results
SEL helps students to do well in academics. When they have a
positive and supportive environment around them at school, they like attending
classes and working with other students. SEL also helps students to forge
better relationships with teachers, so they are not scared of them. This
environment allows them to be more inquisitive about the subjects they are
taught and more open about the problems they are facing. Such a positive
environment, helps students perform better at academics.
Visible Positive Behavior
When the student has a support system at school comprising of other students and teachers, they stay happy. SEL helps build such a support system by helping students learn empathy and understand others better. They are not facing bullying, they are open about their issues and getting help for them, and they are comfortable in their own skin. Developing such positive behavior early on in life keeps them away from psychological issues like depression, anxiety, and stress at a young age and even later in life.
Staying Away from Addiction
With SEL teachings, students become better communicators and
manage their emotions more effectively. Parents, teachers, and students find it
easier to be on the same page. Moreover, students also experience a camaraderie
with other students. A student resorts to addiction either under peer pressure
or to stay away from their reality. With SEL, students are not confused about
who they are and understand what’s good and bad for them. Moreover, they never
feel alone because they know they always have someone to talk to. This
eliminates a need for substance abuse. This single factor can save thousands of
students across United States from wasting away their life and doing something
Creating Better People
Programs like SEL Adventures provide easy and effective ways of appealing to students. The video sessions and classroom activities help them learn important life skills early on in life. So, when they go out in the real world, they do not feel disillusioned or unprepared in any way. Their SEL Adventure programs have taught them to better communicate, better handle their emotions, better understand other people, and overall, become better people. With programs like SEL Adventures, a student can make their life much better than they can without it. Extrapolate it to all the schools in the US, and you an entire generation of socially and emotionally students who can now become the best versions of themselves. That’s a feat!
Schools are a thriving ecosystem and are an integral part of
every child’s life. The responsibility lies with the school management,
teachers, and parents to make sure that they continue to thrive and provide a
positive environment for a student to learn and grow.
To create such a positive environment requires a broader focus that goes beyond academics. School management, teachers and parents need to work towards implementing formal social and emotional programs like SEL Adventures at schools. Here is how schools, teachers, and parents can achieve a positive school climate.
Schools should focus on assessing the existing school
climate. They can achieve this by taking into account the rate of absenteeism,
cases of bullying, parent complaints, and other such problems in the school in
the previous semester. Schools can also randomly select students, parents and
teachers and interview them to find out the ground reality. They can also take
the help of a consultant. This kind of granular assessment will help them
identify the problems the students are facing and how to address them in the
Create a Plan
Once the school has identified the problem, the next step
should be working towards a resolution. The resolution should include inputs
from all the stakeholders – teachers, students, and parents. This ensures
engagement and a commitment to realize a shared vision. Socially and
emotionally healthy school environment can only be built on such a concerted
effort from all the stakeholders.
Schools can then decide how they are going to incorporate
the social and emotional learnings in their curriculum. Programs like SEL
Adventures help them pick and choose among courses that address different
issues at a school, including addiction, bullying, anxiety, and so on.
A positive school climate requires positive relationships. Such relationships should exist among the students as well as between the students and teachers. Teachers become more accessible to students, which aids learning. The positive relationships among students help in boosting their confidence, developing amazing friendships, and promote attendance at school.
It’s Well Worth It
While the whole process and the collaboration among
stakeholders do require certain degree of time and effort, it is every bit
worth it. However, programs like SEL Adventures do help in a more seamless and
A positive school climate completely changes how a school functions and how a child evolves. It can transform an anxious child on the first day back to school to a confident, happy, and a student eager to learn by the end of it. The return on investment in a positive school environment is incredibly high.
As the summer season bids farewell, its time to get back to school. It is a stressful time for students. They have to get back to the school schedule, work through the various activities, manage academic assignments, and more. So, a little anxiety out of the anticipation for a new session at school is expected. It is a natural response. However, if students do not learn how to cope with anxiety at an early stage in their life, it can have a long-lasting and damaging impact on their personality. In fact, depression and anxiety are among the top health issues that youth suffer from.
Students suffering from anxiety can find it challenging to conduct
themselves ‘normally’ at school. Programs like SEL Adventures Platform helps
students to learn social-emotional skills and be prepared to handle back to
Learning About Emotions
Students who feel a flood of emotions can often find coming
back to school overwhelming. They feel a rush of emotions but cannot put a
finger on why they are feeling them. Being a part of an SEL Adventures platform
helps them get a hold of their emotions. Once they can identify if they are
feeling sad, angry, frustrated, or any other emotion, they are better placed to
deal with it.
SEL also helps students to deal with baseless emotions of
fear that they might be feeling. It helps them become more comfortable, and the
school environment seems less intimidating to them.
Make Better Decisions
Anxiety may not sound like much to a person who has never
experienced it, but it can be incredibly scary, even for adults. For a child
dealing with anxiety, it can be a tormenting experience. At such a point, SEL
helps them plough through their emotions and helps them make sense of their
immediate surroundings. It helps them get a new perspective.
To counter their anxiety, students may take to substance
abuse, bad behavior, skipping school, and more. However, with SEL Adventures,
they learn to cope with such situations and make better decisions. It teaches
them to fall back on their parents, teachers and peers for help instead of
moving away from them.
When students have friends around who want to talk to them,
play with them, and listen to them, it is less likely that they will feel
anxious. SEL essentially makes the school environment more positive and
nurturing for the students.
Students Know They are Not Alone
With SEL programs like SEL Adventures Platform, schools can completely change the future of the students who deal with anxiety. Students will understand that they are not alone in their struggle with anxiety. There are many other students like them, tools are available to help them cope with it, and there is an entire support system to help them through this journey. In such a scenario, instead of fearing coming back to school, they will want to go to school. Regularly.
Addiction to drugs, alcohol, smoking, vaping or juuling negatively influences the life of the addict and their family. Getting addicted at a young age in school can completely destroy the life of a child. It leads to stunted emotional and social growth because whenever they face a challenge. Their addiction becomes their refuge. So, they never develop the skills to process their emotions in a healthy manner. That just takes them further down the rabbit hole. One of the most critical skills to break the cycle of addiction is empathy.
Addicts & Empathy
Addiction can completely change an individual. Addicts may
resort to stealing or lying to get what they want. This dishonesty ruins
relationships because of the loss of trust. Kids addicted to a substance will
find it difficult to look farther than their need to get high. Drugs, alcohol,
smoking and vaping take control of the life of the child, and they do not show
any kind of empathy towards how people around them are feeling or what they are
It may be their need to fit into a peer group, deal with a
problem, or loss of control, addiction compromises their decision-making
skills. One poor decision after another is what makes the situation worse.
Building empathy in such a child can help them see a little better and
re-instill the power to make good decisions. This can be for the sake of their
own future or for the sake of those they love.
Nipping in the Bud
Parents and teachers have to help their students learn this skill. Developing empathy early on helps students stay away from self-destructive behavior. A habit like vaping or juuling that is trendy may not appear harmless at first. But, a Juul cartridge comes with around 200 puffs, which is equivalent to the nicotine found in an entire pack of cigarettes. With this skill, they will learn to love themselves and work towards a future rather than falling into the trap of trends.
Empathy helps them to understand how substance abuse will
affect their life and the life of others around them. Whether they come across
pressure or stressful situations in their lifetime, empathy will help them see
the bigger picture and make better decisions.
Developing this skill will help them from falling into a cycle of addiction in the first place.
Research Supports the Claim
American Journal of Addictions published a study in 2009
that empathy-quotient was higher in members of the control group who were not
dependent on alcohol. However, the empathy-quotient went down for participants
who were dependent on alcohol. Empathy for self and others is a contributing
factor to addiction. There is plenty of more research that draws correlations
between empathy and healthy child development.
Parents and teachers have to proactively work to develop empathy in kids from a young age. Parents can do it by practicing themselves. Kids will learn this skill by watching them. Schools and teachers can help their students learn empathy through targeted programs like SEL Adventures.
The Addiction Prevention Program from SEL Adventures understands the importance of teaching empathy to young students. It teaches them about the concept of empathy, how they can apply it in their life, and the importance of assertive communication. Apart from this, there are many other lessons in the program, including self-awareness, resistance to peer pressure, future planning, responsible decision making, and learning emotion display.