Tag: social emotional learning

back-to-school-anxiety

Part I: How To Deal With Back To School Anxiety With SEL

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 school anxiety.

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.

Forge Positive Relationships

SEL Adventures platform also empowers the students with the strategies to enter in positive peer relationships. Such relationships help students create a support system for themselves. This support system is a powerful tool against the anxiety they feel.

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.

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addiction-prevention-sel

What are the Factors that Encourage Addiction Among Students?

It is common to find news pieces, blog articles, Facebook posts, and more detailing stories of young school students falling into the trap of substance abuse. Students, their parents and people close to them are coming forward to share stories of how addiction has completely destroyed their lives. They want to get their story out so that other children do not fall into the same cycle of self-destruction. There is enough help available today that can help students with their addictions. However, what are the factors that encourage addiction among certain students? Let’s find out.

Family History

Predisposition to addiction does not mean that a child will become addicted at some point, a family history only increases the probability of addiction. Such students may be more vulnerable to turn to an addictive substance when faced with a stressful situation.

Psychological Issues

Mental illness is not limited by age. At a young age, when kids do not completely understand mental health, problems like depression, anxiety, bipolar disorders and others can be even scarier. In an attempt to cope with these issues, they may turn to substance abuse. It falls in the hands of adults around them to identify such problems, get proper treatment and help their situation.

Biochemical Makeup

Research has shown that different people react to alcohol differently depending on their metabolism. Enzymes are involved in the breakdown of alcohol and its elimination from the body. Some children may have enzymes that make them more susceptible to alcohol addiction. That is the reason some people may drink more and not feel intoxicated, while others may get addicted even with a small amount.

Academic & Peer Pressure

School is a place for children to thrive, but it can become the stressor if they do not understand how to deal with the situations they face. Some students may not be able to cope up with the academic pressures of the school. This can have many reasons. The teacher’s pedagogy may not work for them, lack of focus, or something else. Then, there are peer groups in school that may put pressure on them to dress, walk, and talk in a certain way. Often times, use of alcohols and drugs can come from giving into these pressures or as a mechanism to deal with them.

Improving the School Environment

A positive school environment helps students focus on their academic performance and overall development. Attitude of teachers, interpersonal relationships of the students, general administration, and more contribute towards the environment of a school. The curriculum and what it emphasizes on also has a bearing on the school environment. Teaching and focusing on social-emotional skills help in improving the school environment and gives students the tools to stay away from addictions.

Schools can use structured curricula like SEL Adventures that have designed dedicated program for addiction prevention. It includes lessons on self-awareness, resisting peer pressure, learning to empathize and display emotions, decision making and future planning. It prepares the students and helps reduce the probability of the students falling into an addiction trap.

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self-awareness-social-emotional-learning-sel

How Self-Aware Students Function?

The article details the impact of teaching students to be self-aware. It describes the benefits schools can expect to see in their school climate when they actively invest in coaching students to be self-aware.

Self-awareness is an integral part of social-emotional learning. In the most basic terms, self-awareness means understanding who you are and how you are seen by others. Understandably, it is an ongoing process. However, if children are taught from a young age about the concept of self-awareness and how they can inculcate it as a skill, they can grow up to be responsible and wholesome members of the society. If schools can successfully provide students tools to be self-aware they can see a visible change in their school environment because self-aware students will function differently than those who are not. Here is how.

Stay Productive

Self-aware students identify their strengths and weaknesses. This is the first step towards working on their weaknesses and using their strengths to learn better. Students who are not self-aware keep struggling with their weaknesses and do not leverage their strength. It is difficult for them to grasp the root cause of their problems, which may lead to behavioral and psychological problems.

While self-aware kids will help the school climate become more productive and learning-oriented, children who are not self-aware will become increasingly alienated from their surroundings. They tend to stay out of school, which can be a predecessor to all kinds of bad habits.

Nurture Empathy

Self-aware students develop empathy. They are aware of the emotions that people around them are experiencing and respectful of them. Such students build positive relationships with their class mates and their teachers. Positive relationships, in turn help develop a better environment at school – one that is welcoming of everyone and a fertile ground for learning.

Students who are not self-aware easily overlook the problems and issues others are facing. Hence, the relationships they form are usually of convenience. Such students are also more likely to be bullies. Lack of self-awareness leads to a school environment that is not conducive for diverse groups of students.

Communicate Effectively

Since self-aware students understand their emotions and those of others around them, it is easier for them to communicate. They naturally understand how to approach a conversation, how to convey their emotions, and how to ask for help. This leads them being wholesome members of their schools. They usually work well in teams, participate in extra-curricular activities, and more.

On the other hand, absence of self-awareness makes it extremely difficult for a child to communicate their emotions and feelings, let alone understanding somebody else. This may lead to serious distance from the society, loneliness, depression, and other related problems. Such a child will experience stunted growth.

Teaching Self-Awareness

Self-awareness can be taught as a part of the curriculum like everything else. Programs like SEL Adventures have an expertly created syllabus that provides teachers the tools to teach self-awareness. This will help students grow to their full potential and live a fulfilling life.

Are American Students Getting Angrier?

A recent survey by Gallup in 2018found that more than half the Americans were stressed for the most part of the day. Of course, stress has a direct bearing on their behavior, and it does. The study also found that more than 1 in 5 Americans felt frequently angry. Such behavior can be seen both among adults as well as students across the country. This anger often manifests itself in the seemingly neverending school shootings, which have unfortunately become a common occurrence. They have grown from 59 in 2006 to 94 in 2018. But, what is the reason for so much anger among students? Let’s find out.

Lack of Emotional Control

Studies conducted at prestigious institutions like the Stanford University have shown that different people respond to negative emotional stimulus differently. And they have concluded that people can control their response to them. So, a student has control over whether they want to feel angry or not. And the anger only intensifies when they find that other people around them also feel the same. So, when they are surrounded by an environment of anger either at home, school or peer group, they are bound to feel angrier.

Loss of Connection

Emotional research over the years has consistently shown that negative emotions have a dampening effect on the social development of a child. When they feel sad, hate, envy, and other such emotions, students become less adaptable and lose touch with the people around them. They feel isolated, which in turn makes them feel angry towards everyone. Love, gratitude, joy, and other positive emotions help students to connect with other people and appreciate the similarities they share, rather than obsess on the differences.

Information from All Sides

Students are bombarded with information from all directions, especially in the internet era. It was easier to shield kids from violence in the pre-internet era, but parents and teachers today only have so much control. Students have access to all kinds of information and they are connected to all kinds of people over social media, which feeds into their anger and amplifies it.

Filling in the Knowledge Gap

It is ironic that in an era that is characterized by information overload, a widening knowledge gap also exists. And the responsibility falls upon the shoulders of the parents, teachers, and the schools to bridge it. While American students are getting angrier, research in the field of emotional intelligence is also going strong. Social and emotional learning is becoming a potent tool in helping the students to take control of their emotions, consciously choose their influencers, and improve their quality of life. SEL Adventures has helped schools and students to achieve this goal in an interesting and comprehensive manner. Schools should help students control their anger and help them grow into healthy individuals who can take complete control of their lives.

Learn more about how SEL Adventures can help students control their anger https://sel-adventures.com/en/programs/