How can SEL support students in today’s classrooms?

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Social emotional learning (SEL) is vital for students. Now more than ever it is important that SEL is a focus, as students are adjusting to changing classroom set ups, expectations, and challenges. While learners may not be able to socialize with their peers and teachers face to face, it is still vital that they are given opportunities to practice SEL in their daily school routines.

SEL has been proven to have several benefits for students, including: improved attitudes and behaviors, reduced emotional distress, and better academic performance.

About 1 in 6 youth struggles with their mental health every year. With the additional stresses and pressures of a global pandemic, as well as the impact it has had on school’s resources, it isn’t unreasonable to assume that even more will need support. While teachers are by no means mental health experts, there are a few things they can do with SEL to help support their students at this time:

Practice mindfulness

Many schools have started implementing mindfulness practice into their daily routines for students. While it may not come easily to all students at first, research suggests that taking time to practice mindfulness can help students perform better in class, and can improve their mental health.

For those looking for a solution that can help students see their progress in mindfulness, we recommend BrainCo. BrainCo helps students learn to proactively get into relaxed states and meditate via neurofeedback-based visualizations and exercises.

Allow for time to talk

Studies have shown that isolation can have a negative impact on student health. Humans are social creatures, and now that a lot of the ways students are used to connecting aren’t options, it is important they still have time to talk to peers and adults who care. Allowing students to have time to discuss things they are doing or projects they are excited about will help them practice social skills even when they can’t be together.

Find new ways to connect

Whether it is trying out a new game, exploring new extra-curricular activities, or finding a virtual world to meet in, finding new ways to connect and collaborate can help keep students engaged, focused, and feeling more supported throughout the school year.

Sources:

https://www.nami.org/mhstats

https://www.gse.harvard.edu/news/uk/19/01/making-time-mindfulness

https://www.edutopia.org/blog/why-sel-essential-for-students-weissberg-durlak-domitrovich-gullotta

Do you know of any other SEL tools we should feature? Let us know in the comments

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