Today’s classrooms are full of students from a variety backgrounds, and the goal is always to accommodate each student as an individual. One way in which educators strive to promote a safe, positive learning environment is through a method called social-emotional learning, or SEL. This scientifically-proven way of teaching creates a foundation that emphasizes a child’s feelings and interactions to help them in turn understand and manage their emotions, show empathy for others and demonstrate responsibility.
How Social-Emotional Learning Works
SEL is based on the idea that natural social interactions cause an emotional impact that influences learning. Students are taught how to understand what they’re feeling, resolve conflict and work as a team in a positive and productive way. By implementing small, frequent opportunities for these interactions, students benefit from teachable moments that give them real-world skills.
Benefits of Social-Emotional Learning
Through SEL, students learn social and self awareness, relationship building and responsible decision making. Once students learn these skills, they go on to show less depression and anxiety, and choose to engage socially more often. In addition to gaining these lifelong skills, many students also experience decreased emotional distress, improved academic performance and fewer conduct issues.
Social-Emotional Learning in the Classroom
There are a variety of ways teachers can implement SEL in their classroom. From meditation and visualization to group sharing and games, there are many enjoyable methods that work for a variety of age groups. Through these regular - and fun! - activities, students learn how to regulate their emotions and express themselves within a group to reach a mutually beneficial solution.
Bennett Day School early childhood and elementary educators participate in professional development with Responsive Classroom, an evidence-based approach to teaching that focuses on the strong link between academic success and social-emotional learning in PreK-8 classrooms. Teachers incorporate many Responsive Classroom principals, including daily morning meetings, into class routines.
Building on the social-emotional skills learned in elementary grades, our Upper School educators are trained in Stanford University's Project Wayfinder Advisory Curriculum to help 8th-12th graders find purpose in their upper school years.
Social-emotional learning is one of the many progressive practices Bennett Day School has put into place to value and bring value to every student’s journey through our school. Click below to plan your visit to Bennett Day School and learn more about our approach!