Education has taken a rather big swerve to push the people involved in the field, and in other fields to focus on innovation and progress. While it does help to push for change and serve the bigger goal of success, it also helps to understand and guide students to handle their emotional and social range when put out to face the ever-growing world. What it takes to be a successful individual in today’s day and age is not just the possession of polished skill, but emotional and social knowledge.
Social and Emotional learning (SEL) is a significant part of a students overall education. Targeting these skills can translate into higher academic achievement, amongst other gains. It goes without saying that integrating SEL into the classroom space can help students be better prepared for their future.
When you educate and teach students important concepts in the classroom, you must remember that they not only grow academically, but emotionally and socially as well. Not a lot of us pay attention to every need of a student, and we make the mistake of focusing only on ensuring that they achieve their academic goals and expectations. This neglect causes adverse effects on a students growth and well-being, which is what SEL mainly does.
It comprises 5 key skills:
Self-awareness: recognition of ones own goals, emotions, and values.
Self-management: regulating one's mannerisms and moods.
Social-awareness: understanding and empathizing with other individuals and their beliefs.
Relationship skills: ability to establish and maintain healthy relationships.
Responsible decision-making: making positive and clear choices regarding one's behavior.
Whether you see them occurring after an hour of its usage or whether the changes start to reflect after a month, these skills are extremely important for an individuals all-round growth. These come to the rescue in all areas of life and help students tackle their personal and work life a lot faster and with better results.
SEL doesn’t just help a student academically, but helps them cultivate values that their future employers look for: problem-solving, team work, character and grit. As students complete their education and step into the corporate world, these soft skills is what will get them to reach their goals and increase their opportunities. This isn’t just important and beneficial for the student community, but also provide a significant return of investments for schools. Research indicates that for every $1 spent on quality SEL initiatives, there is an $11 return on investment.
Strong SEL initiatives in the classroom result in:
Greater academic success
Fewer behavioral issues
Less emotional distress
Positive social behavior
Better teacher-student relationships
Improved career readiness
Improved graduation rates
Less teacher stress
Positive school climate
Even though SEL has proven its value and importance in the current education system, schools are still reluctant to add another task to their staff's efforts. However, bringing social and emotional learning into the classroom doesn't have to be difficult. Many educators find that incorporating SEL principles into classroom lessons provides the greatest impact.
Schools can develop SEL initiatives by following some simple steps:
Define goals for your school as a whole, including behavior expectations.
Spell out what those goals and expectations look like in all areas
Develop a school-wide infrastructure that can support SEL including planning cycles and assessment
Coordinate your SEL programs to align with your school's overall goals
Prepare staff to teach SEL through modeling and integrated instruction
Create and provide opportunities for students to practice SEL skills
Connect with and learn from other educators who have greater practice in SEL implementation
Social and emotional learning takes academic learning a step further, as you not only give your student the required knowledge, but that extra push for them to succeed in all walks of life. SEL can improve behavior, develop communication skills, and improve leadership among students. It can even help teachers gain more time to teach.