Nurturing Social and Emotional Skills is Vital for the Development of Students

In order to ensure lifelong success, it is essential for students to hone various skills including self-regulation, empathy, and discipline. Most of the educational institutions lay emphasis on the mentioned skills from a very early age for academic, social, and career development of students. Many educators are of the opinion that these skills– often known as ‘social and emotional’ skills are interconnected with academic skills. As such, most of them feel that nurturing these skills among the students should also be one of the prime concerns of teachers.

Research states that students should be instructed in such a manner so that they can excel in various fronts ranging from academic, emotional, social, and so on. To successfully implement this strategy, concerned authorities should ensure that not only teachers, but parents, friends, and family should work together towards coordinated outcomes.

Effective Strategies to Promote Social–Emotional Learning

Following the below mentioned techniques can assist teachers to break down the barriers of social-emotional learning and embed it in daily classroom sessions.

Lookout for the Opportunity

Teachers can impart the knowledge related to social and emotional skills during any time– be it recess, during group sessions, math classes, and so on. They can talk to students about how to overcome disputes related to playing any sport or how to understand each other and collaborate for any group work. Students should be taught to speak up and ask questions when they do not understand something. They should not be afraid to make mistakes, put their opinion in front of the class, and be open to suggestions from the teacher and their classmates. Teachers should not worry about taking time away from academic material as these interactive sessions help create conditions conducive for overcoming academic challenges.

Creating a Warm Classroom Culture

The best way to nurture learning is to create a safe and caring ambience. Teachers should reflect the care and respect that they have for each student. They should allow students to explore the elements of teamwork and leadership. This will open doors for innovative thinking and provide the scope of exploring their potential and pursuing their interests.

Building Meaningful Relationships

The key to students’ development is to nurture meaningful relationships– both with the parents and their classmates. It will assist them to improve their attitudes and achievement. Teachers can help the students by creating structures that can lead to the formation of long-term relationships like identifying mentors for students or organizing class meetings. Moreover, encouraging students to set up different groups in the institution like literary and music clubs will propel creativity, nurture teamwork, and develop a sense of mutual understanding and respect. These smaller group settings also act as a platform to nurture social-emotional skills, like listening and expressing feelings through words.

Discipline is an Integral Part

Teachers can nurture harmony and teamwork among the students by maintaining a disciplined classroom environment. They should focus on healing students’ relationships rather than treating them harshly. If a student misbehaves in the class, teachers can frame it as a poor choice; they should make sure not to let their moral down. Conducting regular meetings regarding classroom norms and behaviors can be helpful. They should resolve students’ conflicts by better communication and by creating an environment in which students can communicate well and understand each other properly.

Broadening the Scope of Student Success

Students’ success is not only confined to classroom boundaries. It is essentially a community-wide goal which involves personality development and confidence building to ensure career advancement. Teachers can emphasize in the classroom that test and assignment scores are not the only things that matter. There are various other things to focus on in order to pursue excellence and shine in career. It is important that teachers recognize students’ persistence at the face of challenges, when they are supporting their peers, and are paying close attention to each topic covered in the class.

Emphasizing social and emotional skills among students is of utmost importance. It will boost their confidence, enhance their communication and cooperation with their peers, and at the same time, give them a clear idea of what to work towards and what is its importance. In a nutshell, nurturing social and emotional skills among students from an early age can contribute towards transforming them into responsible citizens of the nation.

— Ananda Kamal Das

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