WHY STUDENTS ARE FAILING WITHOUT SOCIAL EMOTIONAL LEARNING
In today’s society, there is an alarmingly high trend of students who report being depressed, have little to no motivation, and struggle with basic social skills. Students who are lacking in certain social or emotional skills due to improper training are put at a disadvantage without their choosing.
Whether you’re a parent or a teacher, you understand the importance of raising or teaching a “whole” person. Someone who grows up to be generally happy, emotionally healthy, and who can contribute to society in a meaningful way. If resources were available to you with accessibility and simple classroom incorporation that focused on teaching both aspects of social and emotional learning- would you implement them? Does something already exist to teach social-emotional learning in classrooms without writing your own curriculum and trying to squeeze yet another lesson plan into an already overfilled semester?
The answer? YES! But first, let’s cover what SEL, or social-emotional learning is all about.
What is Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) and why is it important? According to CASEL, social-emotional learning can be defined as: “The process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.”
The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) has identified five core skills that are widely recognized as critical social-emotional skills, called core competencies.
The Five Competencies Are:
- Self Awareness – The ability to accurately recognize one’s own emotions, thoughts, and values and how they influence behavior.
- Self Management – The ability to view situations from another perspective, respect the social and cultural norms of others, and celebrate diversity.
- Social Awareness – The ability to take the perspective of and empathize with others, including those from diverse backgrounds and cultures.
- Relationship Skills – The ability to communicate clearly, listen well, cooperate with others, resist inappropriate social pressure, negotiate conflict constructively, and seek and offer help when needed.
- Responsible Decision Making – The ability to make choices that consider the well-being of oneself and others.
These competencies may seem like regular day-to-day happenings for some K-12 students. They’ve been taught how to see that their friend is sad and then how the appropriate response is to have empathy. They can observe how their responses are affecting the outcomes of others. Does someone need help?
They’ve been taught to identify there’s a problem and to offer a solution. Yet for many students who come from homes or even schools where there is no focus on regulating emotions and managing relationships – how are they supposed to automatically know how do these things? Without a guide to show them a model of what critical social-emotional skills look like, how will they know how to implement them?
In recent years, what was once thought of as the “parents job” has quickly been thrust upon teachers in the schools. Not only should you be teaching them calculus, grammar, and geography – but we should be helping students learn the moral structures and compasses of the world and also how to navigate their quickly changing and evolving emotions.
Your full time position of child development has now become two full time jobs without any pay increase! WHAT??? Thankfully, researchers have recently come to fully understand the connections between academic performance and SEL in an effort to educate the whole child. Social-emotional learning not only increases academic success; it also improves students’ attitudes toward school and reduces stress, anxiety, and depression.
That doesn’t make your daily job any easier. You won’t get to collect any more paychecks, leave any earlier in your workday, or see your families any more by adding on SEL initiatives into your classes. But it does shed light on the importance of your role as an educator. This speaks volumes as to how vital your say is in their lives not only educationally, but also as someone who helps develops emotionally healthy adults. With that mountain of knowledge, where do we go from here?
Implementing social-emotional learning into a classroom can be a challenge if you feel you have no resources, ideas, or practical applications. There are organizations such as CASEL that bring together collaborators and provide ideas and research to thrust you in the right direction and if you’re looking for an all inclusive curriculum with lesson plans that are video driven and created to fit within your semesters, we have just the thing! In a society that is moving at the speed of light towards all that technology has to offer, it can feel daunting to introduce into your classroom if you feel like there are too many facets to using a program or maintaining an online curriculum.
The courses were created with each step and lesson to be aligned to the CASEL core competencies and designed to provide students with a deeper understanding of their own personal development. Available completely online, we’d love to give you a free demo just by saying hello HERE.
Have a colleague who is interested? Send them our way and we’ll get them set up with a free demo of an entire course as well! Implementation is easy and effective. With unlimited resources available at our fingertips, and a generation that has a technology growth rate of double that of any generation before it- we are doing the up and coming learners a disservice by not giving them the most effective way to grow.