Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) is essential not only for academic growth, but also for student well-being. Social and emotional learning in the classroom environment can help students to develop healthy relationships with other students, care for others, empathize with others, control their emotions, and take the right decisions.
Teachers are aware about the fact that the student well-being is crucial and the top-most priority in education. But the question in front of them is:
How can they encourage a happy and healthy classroom environment which is comfortable for the student well-being?
Be it any classroom environment, whether in-person teaching or online learning, kids require support, guidance, and instructions from the teachers. Skills like making friends, identifying and controlling emotions, communicating and working with others in a team are vital. Before all this, the kids need to understand and know that they belong in a learning environment, and the teachers (educators) are there to help them, teach them, and care for them.
The past years have really been painful for learners due to the pandemic. They were unable to enjoy school, meet the teachers and friends in-person. Hence, there is an urgent need to focus on social and emotional learning for student well-being.
Teachers need to leverage technology in order to develop a strong bond with the learners and their parents, to ensure social and emotional well-being of students.
Social and emotional learning (SEL)
- In order to focus on SEL, it is essential that teachers don’t start the lesson directly, but first make sure that all the children are mentally prepared to learn.
- Teachers can give a lot of partner activities in the classroom that help kids talk to each other and listen to each other. It fosters cooperation in children, and most importantly, children ask a lot of questions.
- Another great example of social and emotional learning in the classroom environment is ‘Read-aloud’. Before explaining a particular concept, the teacher can give a chance to every student to read-aloud a sentence from the lesson.
- The use of music or sound when switching from one topic to the other is also another effective way of helping the learners focus on something new.
- Auditory signals are useful in the routine classroom environment and for overall student wellbeing as well.
A connectivity with learners
- For student well-being, collaboration is crucial.
- In order to foster connectivity and collaboration, students need to speak and interact with various people belonging to different age groups.
- For example, developing a connection or collaboration with students from the higher grades, or with students from other schools, is great for building positive relationships in the community.
- In this way, the older students feel important, while the smaller kids feel happy.
- Collaboration enables students belonging to various age groups to interact and develop positive connections with each other.
- In today’s digital world, teachers can leverage technology in the classroom environment to show how a classroom in another country looks like, how the students look like, how they interact with each other and how they are different in their accent and language.
Constant communication with students and family
- In order to create a positive learning environment and improve student well-being, it is crucial to keep parents in the loop and communicate with them how their child is doing.
- In most cases it is observed that there is a parents-teachers meeting twice a year and the open day, when parents get to know the results of their child.
- To promote student well-being, it is essential that the teacher understands a student, and for this purpose it is necessary to build a strong bond with a student’s family.
- The best way would be for class teachers to have a conversation with the parents before the academic year begins, so that they can get to know the learners better before starting studies.
- Communication with family also provides teachers the opportunities to learn about the behavior of learners at home and their likes and dislikes.
- It is not possible to communicate with parents every day. However, teachers can keep the parents informed about the progress of their child through weekly progress reports, which point out the strengths and weaknesses of the child.
Connecting with the learning networks
- Teachers are human beings, and they can face problems as well.
- Usually, when teachers are stuck or unable to solve a problem, it may seem they are not alone.
- With the power of technology and the digital world, teachers can build connections with others from the professional teaching world.
- LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook are the most popular social media networking websites where there are many teachers’ communities, having professional teachers from all around the world.
- If educators are facing a difficulty or a challenge, they can easily seek help from the professional learning communities.
In today’s world, it is important for educators to integrate social and emotional learning in the class throughout the day for student well-being and a positive learning environment.