Training Your Learners to Understand Their Emotions & Coexist Peacefully
What is Social-Emotional Learning?
Social-emotional learning (SEL) or is the process that trains students to understand and manage their emotions.
This type of learning helps them set goals and achieve them, show empathy towards others and create and maintain healthy relationships with one another. It also helps in responsible decision-making. Mastering these lessons is as important as mastering academic skills. And it would make more sense if these skills were instilled way from elementary school.
Before we learn how to add emotional and social learning to our courses, it is important to understand its different components.
The 5 Pillars of Social-emotional Learning
Emotional and Social learning is divided into five useful categories.
1. Self-awareness: This is the capacity to recognize and understand one’s emotions and how they affect one’s behavior. Additionally, it’s being able to point out negative emotions and stress, being aware of one’s strengths and weaknesses. It requires one to have self-efficacy and to be optimistic.
2. Self-management: Self-management is the ability to regulate our feelings and behavior. This can be achieved by controlling our anger and handling stress the right way and motivating oneself even when times are tough.
3. Social awareness: Social awareness helps us relate better with one another since it emphasizes on understanding the norms, experiences, and behavior of others.
4. Relationship skills: This skill trains us how to create and maintain a positive relationship by including active listening, open communication, and cooperation.
5. Responsible decision-making: it focuses on making safe and spot-on decisions—in line with one’s moral code as well as others. Responsible decision-making ensures a peaceful co-existence.
As you can see, all five pillars of emotional and social learning are important in shaping one into a sociable, rational and empathetic learner.
Implementing SEL in A Course: your 11-Step Guide
Follow these steps to incorporate this approach into your course,
- Set a routine check-in for each day: Begin the day with a personal connection. This does not have to be a time-consuming procedure. Make it as simple as offering warm hellos to each student on the first engagement.
- Encourage working in teams: Provide opportunities for students to work in teams as this enhances cooperation. Also, alternate between assigning team members and allowing them to pick their preferred partners.
- Teach teamwork: The ability to work in a group is a useful tool in learning. Train them how to take turns, argue and use their special abilities to benefit the group.
- Train learners how to solve their differences: When working together, students are likely to get involved in arguments. Training them how to deal with these can help contribute to rational dispute resolution and a peaceful coexistence.
- Encourage the use of art: Many times a learner understands a concept but may not be able to explain it to others. Clever tutors allow learners to express themselves using different forms of art like drawing diagrams or illustrations, video illustrations.
- Incorporate role plays: Involving role plays in learning teaches students empathy or compassion. Empathy is putting one’s self into some else’s shoe so they truly understand what the victim feels. With role-plays, children understand other people’s feelings better. This strategy is helpful, especially when discussing harassment.
- Make room for reflective writing: Encourage your students to keep and write journals. Create a conducive environment that allows them to think clearly and to put their thoughts into words. You can play soft music, dim the light, and make writing time a quiet and calm time.
- Teach them how to monitor their progress: Make a personal goal setting for your students. It can be an academic, emotional, or social goal. Revisit these goals regularly and find out if they have been met or not. This improves on intrapersonal skills and gives them ownership of their learning.
- Set up a Peace space: Set aside a room or a corner in your classroom for the kids to take a break whenever they are upset or angry. This space should have a calming atmosphere. You can achieve this by adding comfortable seating, throw pillows, plants, non-academic readables, and palliative images. Use this room as a self-reflection and relaxing space.
- Foster buddy-learning: To build a positive relationship in the school community, offer buddy learning opportunities. Pair up students with older or younger students for certain lessons. The older kids will feel important, and the younger one will feel special.
Conclude each day with a checkout: Hold a brief meeting at the end of the day to reflect on the day’s happenings. Pay attention to how learners feel and express gratitude for the day’s achievement. Finish by setting some goals for tomorrow.
The Critical Role or Social-Emotional Learning
Social-emotional learning have several positive impacts on students that could be short term or long term. Short term outcomes
- Students understand and manage themselves better
- They can understand the perceptions of others and relate efficiently with them
- They become better decision-makers and make good personal and shared decisions
Other benefits include:
- Improved self-esteem as they are familiar with positive attitudes toward oneself and others. These positive attitudes include self-efficacy, persistence, confidence, empathy, and commitment to education.
- More positive social behaviors and relationships with peers and adults
- Reduced misconduct and risk-taking behavior
- A decline in emotional distress
- Improved, grades, test scores, and attendance
Long term outcomes
- Social-emotional learning results in greater social and emotional competence which can increase the likelihood of high school graduation.
- SEL prepares a candidate for postsecondary education, career success and a positive attitude towards family and work relationships.
- SEL results in better mental health.
- It reduces criminal behavior, producing a law-abiding citizen.
With all these pros to reap, do you like the idea of emotional and social learning? Well, you can start implementing it ASAP.
The many perks of social-emotional are hard to ignore. This is because it improves the quality of the learning environment in many ways. In essence, this liberal approach can help solves lots of problems that teachers and schools are still struggling with.
Learning is more effective when the mood is right, and everyone is at peace and harmony with the other.
And lastly, training a learner to make better decisions can help reduced the chances of engaging in substance abuse—or breaking the law as, even as adults—which is we should embrace social-emotional learning in schools.