To the delight of many, schools are implementing social-emotional learning in their curriculums, and parents and teachers alike are coming forward to vouch for the value.
Research on social-emotional learning demonstrates the many reasons to vouch for the continued implementation in schools. And there are countless reasons SEL has a positive impact on students.
According to the Collaborative for the Academic Social and Emotional Learning, “The research documenting the impact of SEL is compelling.”
So in case you want to learn more about the major benefits, here’s a list of reasons to implement social-emotional learning into classrooms:
1. Students’ Emotional Health Improves with SEL
Incorporating social-emotional learning (SEL) programs into the classroom teaches students that it’s ok to talk about their feelings. In the past, mental health was checked at the schoolhouse door. But with the implementation of SEL activities, students feel that it’s safe to speak up about how they feel.
2. SEL Promotes Teamwork and Leadership Skills
SEL activities are often group activities, which allow natural leaders to strengthen their leadership muscles. On the other hand, shy students gain the confidence needed to be successful in future roles and relationships through interaction.
Collaborating on goals, milestones, and other team-based activities gives students the chance to be a part of something big.
And seeing the big picture will help students become successful in, and out, of the classroom.
3. Social Emotional Learning Leads to Academic Success
Speaking of success in the classroom, SEL also teaches students how to understand their emotions, organize their thoughts, and in turn have greater success in the classroom.
Social-emotional learning activities can include time-management, goal-setting, and mindful moments that help students become focused and organized in a very busy world.
Additionally, emotionally aware students, tend to be more focused in the classroom. So when students express their feelings and are heard, there is more mental bandwidth for learning…and academic success.
4. SEL Fosters Decision-Making Skills
Through gamified SEL activities, students learn to make decisions based on priority, time, and social awareness of their peers. These decision-making skills carry over into the daily lives of students today and tomorrow.
Teaching students how to make responsible decisions equips them to deal with difficult choices they may face in the future. For example, SEL can help students prepare for anything, from career choices to peer pressure and bullying.
5. Socially Positive Behavior and Attitudes Become the Norm
Some studies show that students behave better with each other, their teachers, and their parents after the implementation of SEL activities. And cheerleaders for SEL hope to prove that it increases interpersonal skills, and therefore, tolerance for others.
Parents and teachers have attested to a reduction in aggressive behavior in classrooms through observation. And its thought that students who have a healthy personal relationship with their teachers and counselors perform well academically…because they do not want to disappoint their teacher.
While the research is new, and there’s sure to be more, common sense tells us a lot about how SEL can have a positive impact on students.
The good news is, implementing SEL into daily schedules doesn’t have to be a huge undertaking. Just a few fun moments of mindfulness every day can make a difference.
If you don’t have time to find SEL lessons, I have put together some workbooks with 24 topics to last all year! Available in Elementary and Teen versions. Each also includes a digital version for easy online SEL.