October 29th, 2020

Social-Emotional Learning and Its Importance

Social-Emotional Learning is suddenly in the spotlight. SEL refers to the acquisition of skills needed to self-regulate emotions, social interactions, and behavioral decisions. Think of them as soft skills for the classroom.

In the classroom, social-emotional learning (SEL) can be applied to help your students develop crucial intrapersonal techniques alongside their set curriculum. This approach is one of many techniques that can help improve the academic success of your students.

5 Social Emotional Learning Competencies

SEL seeks to develop the following life skills:

  • Self-Awareness
  • Self-Management
  • Social Awareness
  • Relationship Skills
  • Responsible Decision-Making

Both children and adults require these tools to thrive. From family and community engagements to daily school environments, SEL will always encourage harmony and success. Once a student finally finishes school, the results of social-emotional learning can also help to improve job acquisition and career advancement.

To better understand social-emotional learning and how it can be applied in the classroom, let’s take a closer look at the five central skills listed above.

  1. Self Awareness refers to the ability to observe and understand one’s own internal landscape. This can include emotions, thoughts, habits, and morals. With a healthy understanding of one’s patterns and moods, students and adults are more likely to succeed both in their relationships and responsibilities.
  2. Self-Management describes the process of actively managing one’s feelings and actions. This implies the ability to contain and regulate emotions while behaving effectively.
  3. Social Awareness details an individual’s ability to understand, sympathize, and respect the backgrounds, cultures, beliefs, and ideals of those around them. With proper self-awareness and management, one can compassionately interact with everyone, so long as mutual respect is maintained.
  4. Relationship Skills encourage the observation and management of interactions in the present moment. They also leverage an understanding of long-term relationship dynamics. This category requires an individual to communicate in a way that makes others feel at ease and valued while ensuring that their behavior still respects the boundaries and preferences of those around them.
  5. Responsible Decision-Making, as it sounds, refers to the ability to make appropriate decisions. In regards to social and emotional learning, this skill relates to making proper choices regarding social behavior. By learning to apply the components listed above, compassionate and empowered decisions become apparent, and social interactions can flow with greater ease.

Adults and students alike are imperfect! Even after instruction, these skills may not always be implemented precisely, and we should always respond to minor errors with compassion and understanding. If everyone in a classroom or social environment is actively working to apply SEL, relationships and productivity will quickly improve regardless of the occasional mishap.

Benefits Associated with SEL

By closely observing the qualities listed above, it becomes clear that observation is at the heart of this endeavor. The sharp focus and observation developed by SEL training can contribute to career success and academic improvement by encouraging problem-solving and resourcefulness.

As this awareness is applied to the social dynamics in a given setting, SEL can quickly improve team morale, harmony, and productivity. On a personal level, individuals who are reliable and display a great sense of tenacity, are knowingly or unknowingly applying these fundamental skills.

It is common knowledge that academic success will not open all the doors for an individual if they cannot rely on their skills to succeed in competitive scenes. With a realistic understanding of SEL, students can back their academic performance with strong communication, confidence, and ethical teamwork.

With the integration of SEL, your students will not only experience positive academic results, but their behavioral issues will reduce and emotional regulation will improve. Students often display tremendous respect for their teachers and fellow students following social and emotional learning.

Implementing SEL in the Classroom

Integrating SEL into your classroom is well worth the time and effort. What you put into SEL, you will regain in class participation, productivity, and unity. These conditions routinely make the educational process easier for both students and teachers alike.

Once an SEL program has been selected, training and education should be provided to the entire school staff. This knowledge will inform school employees on how to model the desired traits while interacting with students. Additionally, your team will be shown how to provide instructions and guidance for their students, helping them develop the five aforementioned SEL skills.

After the students have had an opportunity to observe and learn about these skills, it is essential to create an environment conducive to the advancement of their social development. Creating regular chances for students to practice what they have learned is crucial in the success of any SEL program.

The staff can regularly establish SEL assessments to get a clear idea of a given student’s emotional intelligence and mental state. These check-ins can help fine-tune and improve the approaches that your school is using to implement SEL.

While you begin developing clear goals for your social and emotional learning curriculum, it can help reach out to other institutions and individuals with long-term experience regarding social and emotional learning integration. Their feedback and suggestions can do wonders in the success of your efforts.

Indispensable Tools for All Students

With SEL in place, the classroom will become a haven for clear communication and effective academic performance. Teaching students how to model and instruct the core tenants of social and emotional learning will help teachers achieve their primary goal: to improve the quality of a student’s intrapersonal and academic success.

However, the benefits afforded by social-emotional learning integration will expand far beyond just one classroom. Your school’s entire social network will improve dramatically as self-management of behavior and social awareness continue to develop.

As described above, this educational process can improve success in the job market, help individuals develop personal resilience, and enhance their classroom participation. SEL will integrate smoothly into any academic setting and harmonize with various other school initiatives.

All of these skills are vital for individuals of any age group. In reality, social and emotional learning is crucial in the effort to overcome the adversities of daily life, regardless of their form. With a calm demeanor, crystal clear communication skills, and a sense of leadership, your students will easily pave their way through their desired education track and career choices.

For more tips and techniques on improving both student and teacher quality of life, feel free to reference our educational resources or reach out to our expert staff today.