Oscar Wilde once wrote: “I don’t want to be at the mercy of my emotions. I want to use them, to enjoy them, to dominate them”. But how does one grab their emotions by the neck and lead them to where they want? The process can start at any point in life and it is eternal; SEL. Social Emotional Learning is the process through which not only children but adults also understand and manage their emotions. It is the act of setting and achieving positive goals, feeling and showing empathy for others and establishing and maintaining positive relationships. The ultimate goal of this process is to make responsible decisions.
In order to make life choices that are wise, well thought and beneficial, one must be fully aware of the way they function emotionally and psychologically. Only then can the risk of rash decisions and impetuous actions be eradicated. Developing these abilities is crucial to a child’s development as it prepares him or her for success and happiness as an adult. The skills acquired by this process are clear; self-awareness, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision making. When SEL is combined with academic knowledge, it leads to A) high-quality learning experience and B) empowered students who make active contributions in their classroom today and their workplace in the future. A 2011 meta-analysis found that students who receive high-quality SEL have achievement scores on average of eleven percentile points higher than students who did not receive SEL. In a recent review, it was found that the impact of SEL on adolescents indicated a greater correlation between SEL skills and life satisfaction than cognitive skills and life satisfaction by almost ten per cent! To further prove the importance of SEL, a recent study from the organization of economic cooperation and development shows that a lack of SEL was consistent with unfavourable outcomes such as an increased chance of unemployment, divorce, poor health, criminal behaviour and imprisonment. Children who have received SEL enjoy long term academic benefits on students’ reading and vocabulary.
Now, we all understand how vital Social Emotional Learning truly is, but from an investor’s point of view, what’s the catch? Researchers at Columbia University concluded that for every dollar a school spends on social-emotional learning programs, it sees an eleven dollar return on its investment. We must also look at this meticulous procedure from the perspective of teachers; ninety-five per cent of those surveyed believe that SEL skills are teachable and that the curriculum can benefit students from all backgrounds.
How schools can do this?
There are many ways that schools and teachers can include SEL in their daily rituals. The most effective one is encouraging children to work in partnerships. This helps the child build their own community within the classroom and allows them to make their own choices while cooperating with a partner. A culture of kindness should be promoted to access children to the gift of appreciation and gratitude from an early age. Teachers should allow talk time to let children relax and hit a reset button to get back to their mundane tasks with a better frame of mind. Children should be taught to monitor their own progress. This not only develops interpersonal skills but teaches a child to take ownership of his or her work and monitor their progress to adjust goals.
If all of this has your adrenaline rushing and heart pumping, hold on because we have great news for you! Through SOOP’s teacher application, all of these strategies can be made use of. Our application allows students to indulge in a chat room with peers to eradicate queries. Teachers and students can also interact using one of our many features. SOOP’s student application gives access to students to their quiz scores and attendance by presenting this information in advanced colour-coded charts. Whether you are a student, teacher or parent, everything is a tap away on your phone if you have SOOP!