Social and emotional learning (SEL) has a critical role in improving children’s academic performance and lifelong learning.
In order to be able to see how SEL improves students’ academic success, it is important to be aware of what can hinder a student’s academic success.
Top reasons students may be struggle academically:
- Learning disability: Children with learning disabilities may have strong cognitive skills but struggle with instruction or struggle in a specific area.
- Lack of life skills: This can be in the form of adapting to change, asking for help, focus, control, and time management skills.
- Boredom: Students may not be engaged in their classroom and in turn feel bored.
- Social Problem: Students that struggle with bullying, social pressures, stress, anxiety, health, home life, etc.
All of these external stressors can be helped through SEL and hope. Empathy, self- awareness, and emotional regulation are just a few of the skills that can be taught in order to buffer adversity. When students have these skills they are better able to manage relationships, they are better communicators, know how to set goals, self-regulate and ask for help. Students more often than not feel more connected and in turn attend school more often. They feel heard and supported in their classrooms and by the adults they interact with everyday.
It is no secret that if students feel more connected to their teachers they will be more engaged and willing to participate. It may seem counterintuitive to spend time on social and emotional skills in order to improve academic success, but it may be the key to higher engagement, graduation rates, and attendance.