Three Reasons SEL is Applauded and Appreciated in the Classroom

early development heart centered classroom social emotional learning
Three Reasons SEL is Applauded and Appreciated in the Classroom

SEL – social-emotional learning – is one of the most important components of a successful elementary school classroom. 

Teachers who prioritize SEL, and understand why it matters, will set their students up for more success both inside and outside of school. Classrooms that focus on social-emotional learning also tend to be calmer, happier, and more enjoyable for students and teachers. 

Let’s dig a little deeper into why SEL is so appreciated in the classroom! 

Students and teachers benefit from social-emotional learning 

It’s easy to get caught up in the standards, daily objectives, and assessments required in every elementary classroom. But what many teachers don’t realize is that your students’ academic goals are grounded in their social-emotional learning. 

When you lay a strong SEL foundation for your students, they are better equipped for not just academic success, but success in life and relationships.

SEL is applauded and appreciated in the classroom because it helps students:

  • Improve their behavior
  • Develop key life skills
  • Improve their academic performance

SEL helps students improve their behavior

Anyone who has spent time in an elementary classroom knows that managing behavior can take up a lot of a teacher’s time. When teachers prioritize SEL, they give their students the tools they need to meet expectations, focus, and follow directions – so teachers can spend more time teaching and less time managing.

Social-emotional learning is the best way to help students recognize their own behaviors and emotional triggers. When elementary students can identify what sets off their own negative behavior, they are more able to avoid those situations or manage the behavior they know is coming up. 

For example, if you have a student who becomes angry when they get an answer wrong, that anger can lead to a lot of behavior issues if the initial trigger isn’t addressed. But in a classroom that prioritizes SEL, that student will not only know that getting something wrong tends to cause them to feel angry (that awareness alone is so helpful!), but they will also have skills to deal with the anger when it pops up instead of letting it run out of control.

SEL is so applauded in classrooms because it helps students understand, identify, and manage their emotions – which leads to overall improved behavior. There’s a big difference in students’ exhibiting “good behavior” because they are scared of their teacher or afraid of harsh punishments and students who generally meet expectations and follow directions because they feel safe, understand their own emotions, and have the skills to manage them.

Good behavior – for a heart-centered teacher who prioritizes SEL – isn’t about compliance. It’s about helping students manage their own emotions and encouraging them to meet consistent expectations because it benefits them and the classroom as a whole. 

When students understand their emotional triggers and have strategies for dealing with their own impulse control, you’ll see better behavior and happier students!

SEL helps students develop key life skills

So much of elementary education is about preparing students to be kind, thoughtful, and helpful members of the classroom. The life skills you teach your students will set them up for success for the rest of their education and into the “real” world.

Key life skills that SEL supports and teaches include:

  • Self-awareness
  • Social awareness
  • Relationship skills
  • Communication skills
  • Self-management
  • Decision-making skills

SEL is applauded in the classroom because it prioritizes life skills along with academic skills – leading to well-rounded, fully-prepared students who can solve all kinds of problems, from math equations to interpersonal conflicts.

When students learn how to be more self-aware, they understand how their emotions affect them and their classmates. They are better able to manage their emotions when they are aware of them.

Social awareness – being empathetic and aware of social cues – helps students work better together in groups and be more patient and understanding with students who are different than they are in any number of ways.

When students can build their relationship skills and learn to resolve conflicts themselves, everyone in the classroom benefits. This leads to less oversight needed from the teacher and fosters a sense of belonging and community in the classroom.

Students who can make responsible decisions, and understand the consequences of the decisions they make, build a safer, more productive classroom. They are also better set up for long-term success in life when they take responsibility for their choices.

SEL helps students improve their academic performance

Heart-centered teachers love SEL because it helps students improve their academics without only focusing on standards and objectives.

A student who can regulate their emotions, focus, collaborate with classmates, take responsibility for their choices, and enjoys being in school is at a significant academic advantage. It’s much easier for a student to learn fractions or blend C-V-C words when they are able to be fully present and focused on what is being taught.

Teachers who prioritize SEL have more time to differentiate learning and focus on students’ academic needs because they aren’t constantly putting out behavior fires or managing students’ emotions for them.

Academic improvement is an inevitable byproduct of social-emotional learning, and can feel almost effortless when SEL is consistently taught and prioritized in your classroom. 

It’s easy to see why SEL is applauded and appreciated in the classroom

Social-emotional learning supports students from every angle – helping them improve their behavior, develop important life skills, and improve their academic performance. 

SEL isn’t an extra component or something to get to when there’s extra time – it should be the foundation of every elementary classroom. 

Teachers who prioritize SEL find themselves enjoying their job more, reaching their goals faster, and building a safe, supportive environment where everyone learns better and builds life-long skills. 

Need help bringing SEL to your classroom? Download the SEL curriculum sampler!

This pack of free mini-lessons helps teachers kick-start social-emotional learning in their classrooms!

Get your SEL curriculum sampler today and watch the difference it makes in your classroom! 

Click here to download the SEL curriculum sampler pack!

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