Social and emotional skills are critical for children to become
complete individuals. This article discusses the reasons why schools should
identify their importance and emphasize them.
The emphasis on social and
emotional skills has not always been seen at par with that on academic
achievements in school environments. However, as more research is surfacing, it
is becoming clearer that social emotional skills and academic success are, in fact,
sides of the same coin. This brings into perspective the extraordinary
significance of social and emotional learning.
To Boost Confidence
Social and emotional skills empower
children to trust themselves. Their heightened social quotient gives them the
courage to raise their voice and be heard in group situations. They become
comfortable in their own skin, a valuable skill that many people struggle to
achieve well into adulthood. When students can eliminate unnecessary
distractions and acquire the ability of self-control, they can also focus
better. These factors combine to help them give a boost of confidence, which is
incredibly important for a healthy growing child.
With a better emotional quotient,
it becomes easier for students to navigate through different groups of people,
understand them better and learn more. Strong social and emotional skills take
out the unfounded fear of the unknown and encourage students to know more. They
find it easier to approach their teachers when they do not understand concepts.
They do not face difficulty in talking to other students hailing from diverse
backgrounds. They are curious, and that helps them learn more and learn it quick.
Students with enhanced social and
emotional skills understand the power of cooperation and have the ability to
harness it. They know how to empathize with others, communicate effectively,
and make friendships. As they cooperate with other students, they also prepare
themselves for the real world. No wonder they do better in life as they grow
To Be Effective
Whether it is a classroom
environment, the playground, a competition, or any other surrounding, it is
important for students to be more effective. They can do this by reading a
situation better, showing persistence, being self-motivated, and by
demonstrating an ability to overcome the challenges. In Daniel Goleman’s book,
Emotional Intelligence, he calls it a “different way of being smart”. He says that this is the intelligence that empowers
people with lower IQ to do even better than people with a higher IQ.
As the kids with social and
emotional skills grow up, they maintain better relationships, achieve more at
the workplace, and are happier in their life. Their skills help them make the
best out of their talents and IQ.
Social & Emotional Skills are Important
Social and emotional skills are the keys to a successful and happy life. Kids and adults need them to go through life every single day. Schools should find expert-backed programs like SEL Adventures to teach students social and emotional skills at a younger age. They should understand that these skills are as important, if not more, than the academic skills they learn at school.
Friendships are important for the social and emotional
development of a child. With kids spending most of their time in schools, they
form most of their friendships there too. However, it is not easy for all kids;
some find it challenging to make friends. If not addressed in time, the problem
can snowball and result in lonely, socially awkward and emotionally
underdeveloped children. Schools can help these students by adopting programs
like SEL Adventures in their classrooms. Here are the skills a student needs to
learn to form rewarding friendships.
Finding their people
Students should be able to identify individuals who can
become their good friends. These are their peers who see them as equals, accept
them for who they are, and have similar interests to them. Parents, teachers,
or even the children themselves should not forcibly try to fit into a
friendship for other superficial reasons.
Better Non-Verbal Communication
Non-verbal cues are crucial. The child should be taught to
have an approachable and welcoming demeanor. These include smiling, maintaining
eye contact, standing straight, and more.
Encourage the child to take the initiative and take the
first step towards friendship. They can ask a prospective friend to sit at
their table for lunch, join a game they play, or invite them to other
Showing Interest & Sharing
Teach the child to be a good listener. While they should
talk about themselves, they should also show interest in the life of their new
friend. This makes the other person feel valued and gives them an avenue to
share their emotions.
It is difficult for some kids to celebrate the achievements
of their contemporaries. But, guide students to feel happy about the accomplishment
of a friend. Celebrating their friend’s achievements makes the bond stronger
and sets a foundation for the support system that friendship eventually becomes.
A bond like friendship also requires students to put themselves
in their friend’s shoes and understand what they are going through and how they
can help. It can be challenging for many to empathize, but it is a skill that
can be acquired over time.
It is easy to run from problems. But, students should learn
how to face difficulties in their friendships and find an amicable solution
that saves the relationship and makes it stronger. Thinking of different ways
to resolve problems can prove to be a highly useful life skill for students later
in life too.
It is easy to find faults in another person, but being kind
requires strength. Once students learn how to empathize and resolve conflicts,
kindness follows. But, it can also be learnt by practicing. Students can help
their parents do house chores without asking, put out water for animals, or
Teach them Well
Friendships help students to become socially and emotionally intelligent. SEL Adventures assists the school in teaching students the necessary skills to make friends through classroom instructions, a gamified learning experience, and a performance tracker. SEL Adventures helps schools to coach students to become fully-formed and functioning individuals who go on to live a fulfilling life and become an asset to the community.
Many people see addiction, either to drugs or alcohol, as something that only happens to the “troubled” students. However, the statistics speak otherwise.
E-cigarette users in middle schools and high schools increased from 1.5 million between 2017 and 2018. Over 20 million Americans over the age of 12 are addicted to drugs or alcohol. Over 90 percent of that 20 million began drinking, smoking, or using drugs before they turned 18.
Most addictions can be traced back to peer pressure, stress, and depression. For instance, Vaping is considered ‘cool’ by teenagers, who get addicted to smoking early on and later find it hard to quit. It can also be attributed to the easy availability of various substances. Juul, a type of e-cigarette comes in discreet forms that are hardly recognizable. So, students can easily indulge in juuling whenever they want.
Banning these substances may not be the best idea. It is important to communicate with the students in a manner they understand. Social-emotional learning, therefore, becomes an important lesson to focus on with middle schoolers. This is the age where they’re most likely to try alcohol or drugs for the first time. Delaying this and showing them that there are healthier ways to deal with their anger or depression can prevent them from gaining addictions later on in life.
SEL Adventures is an SEL platform that allows students to learn the various aspects of social-emotional learning. It’s presented to the classroom as a whole to ensure that every student benefits from the material being presented. More so, the material is presented in a variety of ways so that students don’t feel as though they’re being lectured.
Through the use of fantasy characters and fun curriculums, students learn how to make more positive decisions, form healthier relationships, and develop empathy for one another. As a result, they’re less likely to be peer pressured into trying drugs or turn to alcohol as a way to deal with their problems.
Particularly when you look at how the statistics show that Americans often begin making decisions that lead to addictions starting at 12 or over, it’s clear that social-emotional learning has to be introduced in middle school. SEL Adventures offers versatile lesson plans that allow schools to incorporate the lessons as needed. They can be adapted to fit the existing curriculum. Further, the online platform makes it possible to introduce the material without developing new lesson plans. It’s all created already, which makes it possible for the teachers to follow along.
Students need some kind of support to learn about addiction prevention methods. Simply telling kids “don’t do drugs” isn’t going to cut it. They need to learn about healthy ways to deal with stress. They need to know how to establish healthy relationships.
Addiction statistics aren’t improving. One hundred people die from drug overdoses every day, which is a rate that has tripled in the past two decades. With social-emotional learning, such as what SEL Adventures offers, it’s possible to start decreasing those rates once and for all.
Kids don’t really behave as often as you would like them to. Unfortunately, as a teacher, you might spend more time focusing on disciplinary behavior than on the lesson plans that you worked so hard to create. If your students aren’t behaving, you have to look at ways to correct it so that you can begin teaching them about the various subjects.
This pop quiz will make it easier for you to take a look at student behavior to identify if there is a problem.
What is the most common voice level in the classroom?
Are students tearing up their belongings or class property?
Are students being pushed down/around in recess?
Are students talking during presentations?
Are curse words being used in the classroom?
Do students respect one another?
Do students feel comfortable asking questions?
How you answer each question should tell you a lot about student behavior. For example, the first question involves the common voice level. Imagine the volume on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the loudest possible volume and 1 being quiet. Your classroom should be at a 1 or 2 during most times, with 3 being a possibility if there is group work taking place. If you answered that the voice level is a 5 most times, it likely means that things are out of control.
There are also questions that have to do with respect for personal property and of others. It is a form of bullying no matter how you look at it. If students are tearing up their own belongings, they don’t care about what they have. They haven’t learned the value of having items of their own. Further, if they are tearing up classroom materials, they don’t have respect for you or the school.
What Are You Going To Do About It?
At some point, you have to look at correcting the behavior in the classroom. It’s not acceptable for everyone to be talking over one another. It’s also not acceptable for students to feel uncomfortable raising their hands with a question if they feel they are going to get teased about it.
This means you have to look at teaching what appropriate behavior looks like – and correcting bad behavior. Years ago, students learned about proper behavior from home. Unfortunately, for a number of reasons, this isn’t always happening.
Social-emotional learning can be introduced into the classroom to help you get behaviors in check. Eldventir Adventuresoffers an online platform to provide you with a variety of tools that focus on SEL for middle school-aged children. When you show them how to control their emotions and be more respectful, you can overcome rampant behaviors in the classroom.