SEL includes a) self-awareness which means being able to comprehend ones emotion and being able to translate these into our behavior by assessing our strengths and weaknesses b) Self-management or the ability to regulate emotions like controlling anger, handling stress or being self-motivated c) Relationship skills or maintaining healthy relationships by cooperation and conflict resolution d) Responsible decision making by making healthy choices and abiding by a personal code e) Confidence building by remaining sensitive to the fact that each child is unique and cannot be subjected to a standardized evaluation.
Every SEL experience becomes embedded in the architecture of the child’s brain. Play is integral to the academic environment. Creating routines of fun, music and games minimize problem of stress during challenging times like standing in a line or during transition time between classes. Establishing a positive relationship with peers and adults including teachers and parents are key skills to be developed. Creating an ethic of sharing and caring provides opportunities to develop social skills. Praising the child for every step forward creates positive reinforcement. SEL cognitive learning competencies help in being successful in academics, career progression, and building a positive work and family relationship apart from better mental and physical health. The classrooms are characterized by a positive relationship, effective classroom management, deeper learning, reduced behavioral problems and ultimately a more functional school.
Employers recognize that SEL develops with content knowledge. It would be crucial to prepare the future workforce with life skills. Children need to show excellent problem solving skills and persevere through challenges. Social, emotional and academic development can transform schools to places that foster academic excellence, collaboration, communication, creativity, innovation, empathy, respect and other vital skills that are necessary for success in the 21st century.