Social Emotional Learning (SEL) in the classroom is considered as an important element for the complete development of students.
To define the term, ‘it is a 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.’
Today, we find, Social Emotional Learning (SEL) drives almost everything, right from school wide practices to policies which essentially inform an adult and students to relate with each other. This is important as, it is through such information that students and adults learn to how they need to associate with all levels of the system, creating a welcoming, participatory and caring climate for learning.
With each passing year, the importance of working together is felt more evident more than ever. Educators today, need to prepare the young generation in a way that they are very flexible in working in different environment, with people of different culture and background in order to create a world that’s very congenial to live in. Teamwork is taking up a front seat in every aspects of school programs and workplace activities.
Hence, how do you foster qualities such like self-awareness, self-management, responsible decision making, relationship skills and social awareness in students which help individuals to work in team? Well, it is through Social Emotional Learning (SEL) and so today we will be discussing with you some important tips by which you can foster SEL in your classroom.
- Promote Mindfulness- Don’t you think that students need to first identify their own feeling before they begin working on controlling their emotions? First thing first, so it is important to first promote in students mindfulness so that they not only understand how to control their emotions but take an active role in their learning process. One of the tricks to promote mindfulness in the classroom is to create a mood board wherein students can identify their feelings throughout the day based on 4 color coded feeling markers.
- Building Positive Relationship with Empathy- when it comes to modelling empathy, there is no other person than a teacher is the perfect example to follow. Yes, all teachers have a wonderful ability to empathize. Students too should be taught and encouraged to listen to others so that they start to understand others feelings just as they care about theirs. Encourage students to question and be questioned to listen and also be listened by others. This is a small step, yet it encourages all types of response from students.
- Building strong will power- Not all students come with the same level of determination but if nurtured in the right direction or coached properly, students with weaker level of resolution can also master their skill, achieve valuable goal and win competitive events. There are ample examples backing this idea. One of the ways by which a student can be taught to naturally strive to better themselves is by praising their efforts and giving them the enthusiasm to work on improvisation. Each students needs to be encouraged to do good in life by setting a target and stretching goals during lessons so that they understand the joy of accomplishing goals.
- Challenging thinking- this is an important step because it helps in molding the thought process of students. Student and their feelings needs to be assessed throughout the day in the classroom by breaking them into small groups and small activities. When students work in activities, they get involved into it and reflect stronger emotions of anger, pessimism, optimism and joy after accomplishing something. Once observation is done, teachers can discuss it with each students about their feelings and also seek explanation. The other way is to divide them into small groups and let them discuss with each other. They can question each other as to how they are feeling and explain the cause of their feelings. Students will be urged to think critically about their feelings and it will allow them to see how their actions and words affect others feelings as well.
- Promote Gratitude- It is through research that one learns, people who has the habit of regularly expressing gratitude possess more energy and enthusiasm, are less stressed out and have better physical wellbeing. This feeling of gratitude in students can be fostered by teachers by incorporating simple exercises into each lessons. Although, they can be trained the feeling of gratitude in different ways.
So, have we missed out on any other important ways in which Social Emotional Learning (SEL) can be fostered?
Do write to us your views about SEL, how you are trying to incorporate it in your classroom and how are your students’ responding to the exercises carried out in the classroom to foster SEL.