Education is paying more attention to the importance of Social Emotional Learning now. They are finally realizing that these skills matter. The goal of teaching social and emotional skills is to build students' mental health and resilience—so that as they grow, they can adapt and handle what comes at them. SEL targets essential life skills for students, provides a foundation for safe and positive learning, and enhances students' ability to succeed in school, careers, and life.
Here are 10 teaching practices to promote SEL in your classroom:
1. Academic Rigor & High Expectations - Academic rigor promotes engagement while setting achievable but high expectations to establish that their teachers want them to succeed. The focus, there though, is on the teacher’s belief that ALL students can and will succeed to the HIGHEST AND ABOVE of each of their potential!
2. Student Centered Discipline - Teachers can use developmentally appropriate disciplinary strategies to motivate students to want to behave in the classroom. One way to do this is to give students a voice in the classroom through activities such as allowing the students to develop the classroom norms or rules.
3. Prosocial Teacher Language - Teachers can model appropriate communication skills for students! Teacher language can encourage and motivate students.
4. Classroom Discussions - Classroom discussions help develop communication skills and an ability to elaborate on student's own thinking.
5. Self Assessment & Self Reflection - Students can learn to view their work through an assessment lens as well as a reflective lens, allowing them to actively think about their own work and then, think about how to improve upon it. This inevitably leads to goal setting.
6. Promote Responsibility and Choice - By allowing students to have a voice in the classroom, teachers promote responsibility and choice. Explicitly teach students that they have choices, to take responsibility for their choices, and to learn from their choices. Some ways to promote responsibility and choice in the classroom are peer tutoring, cross age buddy reading, etc.
7. Balanced Instruction - Balanced Instruction occurs when there is an appropriate balance between active instruction and direct instruction and between individual and collaborative learning.
8. Cooperative Learning - Cooperative Learning requires students to actively work together around content in a meaningful way. Explicitly teach students the norms for working with a group. Then, give them opportunities to practice, apply, and adjust those skills. The jigsaw activity is one way to include cooperative learning in the classroom.
9. Competence Building - Competence Building is when a teacher develops students' social-emotional competencies systematically through the typical instructional cycle (lesson goals/objectives, introduction to new material/modeling, group and individual practice, and summary/reflection).
10. Offer Support - There are tons of research studies that demonstrate the significant impact teachers have on students. Help students to grow from their learning, both academically and behaviorally. One way to do this is to develop a behavior intervention plan with the student and include opportunities for your support to help the student achieve!
What are some other ways we can teach SEL to our students?
By Miss Rae
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