As Social Emotional Learning becomes more popular in schools, parents might be wondering what it is, how it impacts student achievement, and how it can be reinforced at home.
What is Social Emotional Learning (SEL)?
Committee for Children, whose mission it is to positively transform the social-emotional well-being of 100 million children annually by 2028, defines social-emotional learning this way:
Social-emotional learning (SEL) is the process of developing the self-awareness, self-control, and interpersonal skills that are vital for school, work, and life success.
People with strong social-emotional skills are better able to cope with everyday challenges and benefit academically, professionally, and socially. From effective problem-solving to self-discipline, from impulse control to emotion management and more, SEL provides a foundation for positive, long-term effects on kids, adults, and communities.”
Social Emotional Learning in the Classroom
As more and more schools begin to adopt the practices of SEL, you may hear from your children that they are engaging in self and collective check-ins with teachers and/or guidance counselors, as well as learning breathing techniques, yoga, and meditation.
In the same way that adults learn to manage their stressors to be better parents, spouses, and employees, children should also learn to develop their self-awareness and utilize positive mechanisms for dealing with their anxieties.
Whether an elementary student is concerned with the monster under the bed or a high school student is concerned about the possibility of an active assailant in his school, stress and anxiety is real. And we are better people who can contribute more to society when we learn how to effectively respond to the things that worry us.
Social Emotional Learning Tips for Parents
You can reinforce the SEL that your child is learning in school by asking your child to show you some of the tools and strategies they’re learning.
- What kind of breathing techniques are they being taught?
- How does meditation help them with slowing down and being present?
- Can they provide an example of how breathing has helped them through a difficult situation?
What is the impact of SEL on academic achievement?
Communication, getting along with others, and learning to problem solve are all skills taught in an SEL program. These skills help students build a healthy, supportive, and successful academic environment.