Using Social-Emotional Learning Strategies in Teaching

social emotional learning

If there’s anything that has been emotionally overwhelming in education post-COVID-19 is the urgency of social-emotional education for students. Our lives are marked with unending stress, and it’s not just adults; even children and young adults are also subjected to considerable stress daily. Stress has very complex side effects, which can impact children and young adults at an emotional level. To prevent any mishap, it is important to identify, understand, and handle this emotional stress effectively to preserve their overall well-being.

Children need support and instructions to manage their life. To ensure this, various skills can prove helpful, such as recognizing and managing emotions, communicating effectively, controlling impulses, being a good friend, and working with others. These skills are crucially valuable and helpful.

Social-emotional learning help students develop significant life skills. These skills go beyond academics and have a pragmatic impact on the life of students as they develop their emotional intelligence through social-emotional learning.

In this blog, you will learn about various social-emotional learning strategies you can use while teaching students and upgrading their lives. Before that, let’s talk about social-emotional learning and its need.

Social-Emotional Learning and its Need

An organization called, The Collaborative for Academics and Emotional Learning (CASEL) works for the well-being of children by enhancing their social-emotional learning. This organization aims to integrate social-emotional learning across preschool to high school. According to CASEL, social-emotional learning refers to a process with the help of which children and adults acquire knowledge, skills, and attitudes to understand and manage emotions, feel and show empathy for others, set and achieve positive goals, make responsible decisions, and establish and maintain positive relationships.

Social-emotional learning can be taught at school or outside the school premises, but teaching at school is one of the effective places for learning as children spend a considerable amount of time of their day at school. Besides, social-emotional learning can be integrated through various activities.

The need for social-emotional learning is upscaling. Researchers have suggested that there is an interconnection between cognitive processes that control social-emotional development and intellectual development. Therefore, both are equally important for the holistic development of children.

Social-Emotional Learning Strategies in Teaching

The strategies to incorporate social-emotional learning in teaching to create a lasting positive impact on children’s behavior are as follows-

·       Talk about Managing Emotions

The most important strategy to practice social-emotional learning is to talk about emotions and guide children toward working on them. It can be done by discussing each other’s feelings and emotional needs. Be there for others. Moreover, these discussions must be included as a part of the school management system. This will ensure that students are safe emotionally and mentally at school and that their feelings are well-protected.

·       Promoting Journal Writing

Reflective journal writing is a great way of getting started with promoting social-emotional learning teaching. With the help of journal writing, every child gets a chance to convey their feelings through this strategy. For instance, some children have different temperaments and abilities; some are quiet and do not like to speak openly. Journal writing helps them write freely; through this, they become more aware of their feelings, emotions, thoughts, and behavior. Additionally, teachers should try to create a more soothing and comfortable environment as it will promote the feeling of relaxation and aid with the writing. Moreover, sharing the responses with partners or class is also useful in promoting social-emotional learning.

·       Incorporate a Trusted SEL Curriculum

A systematic SEL (Social-emotional learning) can help build these skills. A research-backed curriculum can help cover the skills that students need the most. Besides, most SEL curriculums are curated to teach interesting topics such as teamwork, communication, and self-regulation. By combining the academic subjects and these topics, you can nurture emotional skills in students.

·       Building Social-Emotional Vocabulary

Try to build social-emotional vocabulary with your students, such as,

  • How can I improve?
  • How can we learn from one another?
  • I like a challenge.
  • Have I done my best work?
  • Let me try a different way.

These phrases will give a push to your students to foster their resilience and overcome any failures. Hand out a poster with these phrases and discuss this with them daily in the classroom.

·       Give them Time to Talk

Giving lots of learning opportunities to students, both structured and unstructured, can help them grow, such as talking to another during the course of the day. Sharing ideas or finding solutions to problems will help students build confidence and understanding. While teaching the class, if you feel your class is cracking up, take a 5 minutes chat break to hit the reset button.

·       Set SMART Goals

Setting SMART goals is a wonderful technique to promote self-motivation among students. These should be Specific, Measurable, Agreed-upon, Relevant, and Time-bound. Also, these should help students reach their best potential by confronting them with a challenge to achieve a target. Achievement of a SMART goal should gain rewards, and non-achievement of these goals must point towards further support, encouragement, and guidance.

·       Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness is the best medicine that helps throughout one’s life. It is crucial for a social-emotional learning strategy that helps in managing anxiety and stress. It is a self-awareness skill that focuses on accepting one’s present circumstances. Moreover, this help children calm down, manage their emotions, and be happy at the moment, thereby enhancing their overall well-being. Besides, there are various ways to exercise mindfulness, such as guided meditation, breathing exercises, and focusing on one thing.

Final Words

To conclude, the strategies mentioned above for building social-emotional learning in teaching indicate that this is the need of the hour, and all children should exercise it. Also, teachers should incorporate these strategies in classrooms for the holistic development of children. If you want to implement social-emotional learning strategies in teaching through professional experts, eduTinker is here to help you get through it. Contact us and build a better learning environment for your students.