The pandemic had a tremendous impact on the mental health of the student community. While fear, fatigue, and anxiety have been major contributors, the sudden displacement of social-emotional relationships and learning has also added to myriad mental health issues triggered since the onset of the pandemic.
Here’s what we’ll be looking into today
What is social-emotional learning
How does it work in a classroom
What are its benefits
How we can include SEL in a world dependent on online classes
What is Social-Emotional Learning?
Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) is central to our understanding of human identities and development. It can be defined as an “integral part of education and human development. SEL is the process through which all young people and adults acquire and apply the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to develop healthy identities, manage emotions and achieve personal and collective goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain supportive relationships, and make responsible and caring decisions.” The following chart will show you the primary components of any SEL enterprise.
SEL Skills in the Classroom
In a world without COVID, these processes take place in a classroom. They include skills that allow learners to become more self-aware, understand their strengths and weaknesses, recognise emotions and be empathetic to them, become socially aware, and build meaningful relationships. These are skills are overtly taught in the early stages and become more natural and innate with older learners. It is, however, a constant learning process that occurs with regular interactions and personalised communication with groups of peers.
At its early stages, a teacher models social and emotional skills and provides opportunities for the students to apply, practice and hone these skills. For instance, as the class works on a composition exercise, the teacher can also teach respectful communication.
SEL skills are embedded into curricular and co-curricular activities as learners form study groups and submit team projects. SEL happens in adult learners with positive teacher-student interactions, more space for student engagement, autonomy and exhibition of mastery.
How does SEL benefit learners?
There are studies that show that SEL processes promote positive social behaviours and improve academic achievements in the classroom. According to a research conducted in Loyola University, Chicago, CASEL, and the University of Illinois, Chicago, “those who participated in evidence-based SEL programs showed an 11 percentile-point gain in academic achievement compared to students who did not participate in SEL programs”.
It builds self-awareness and helps us manage ourselves better.
It provides us with the vocabulary to describe our mental state and share our feelings in a constructive manner.
It makes us open to alternate perspectives, making us more empathetic.
It makes us more decisive.
It helps builds morale and a positive image of ourselves.
It encourages positive social behaviours and helps build better, more honest relationships.
There is a direct correlation between SEL, test scores, and attendance.
The imposition of the lockdown has taken this away from most learners. Attending classes remotely takes away the social and emotional components of learning. As schools and colleges rushed to provide their curriculum online, SEL got lost in translation. Since most educational institutions are depending on online forums for the upcoming academic year or are choosing blended models, here is a list of things you can do to keep up with your social-emotional skills.
Keeping up with your Social-Emotional skills
Drawing from the ideas of Kristina Scully, a special education teacher, and an SEL expert, there are simple ideas you can incorporate to improve your emotional wellbeing in the upcoming academic cycle.
Virtual greetings and acknowledgements: Join the classroom a couple of minutes before time to greet your classmates. A simple acknowledgement or salutation is a strong reminder of the human behind the computer screen.
Personalised teamwork: Whether it gets assigned or not, break into little teams and set tasks to accomplish. These tasks may be related to your coursework or something completely disconnected, yet interesting to all the members of the team.
Catching up with friends: Rebuild classroom scenarios online. Take some time to connect with your friends virtually, beyond the scheduled class hours.
Journal Writing: Journals are safe and healthy vents for all our fears and anxieties. Writing helps us distance ourselves from the emotional storm and observe our minds objectively. It does not mean you write only the negative thoughts but share anything that you want with yourself. A handwritten journal, in these times, works better than an online one since we are already spending long hours in front of our computers.
Life offline: Schedule some time every day to stay away from all gadgets. You could read a book or talk to your neighbours or just catch up with the people at home. This relaxes your eyes and gives you a much-needed brain break.
Gamify learning: It is essential to make learning as engrossing as possible in these times. Convert assignments into games with your friends. Study together and quiz one another. There is a multitude of resources online that will help you gamifying your coursework.
Entertainment together: It is also important that you play together. Online games or games over video calls are extremely effective SEL tools. Like a conventional classroom, it also helps if you can watch movies together or come up with a performance.
Sharing: Sharing narratives of adversity or simple everyday experiences among trusted friends is a key social-emotional skill. It involves the fundamental principles of trust and choice as each person in the group chooses when and what to share. It also opens up the space to share coping mechanisms and the little things we do to manage mental health.
Practise self-care together: Schedule self-care sessions such as any exercise, meditations or practising mindfulness that you can do along with your friends. It makes you stay motivated and help achieve both personal and collective goals of both physical and emotional well-being.
Taking care of ourselves and others
A simple greeting like ‘how are you?’ needs to find its space in our everyday communication as an actual question where people respect and actively listen to the answers. As the world reels from the impact of the pandemic, it is on us to work towards our psychological wellbeing and to support others to the best of our abilities. We will take a while to get acclimated to the ‘new-normal’ and until then, let us keep our social-emotional skills sharp and be present for both ourselves and those in need.
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USE OF INFORMATION COLLECTED
TC Global does not share any Personal Information with any third party without your consent, except when directed by the law. TC Global can use this data to verify user identity in line with engagement initiated by the user. We will communicate with you using the contact information provided by you in order to respond to any queries that you may have and to provide any information that you may request regarding the services provided through the Site. We may communicate with you either by written, physical communication, email, telephone, SMS or via notifications on your mobile device. We may also send strictly service-related announcements to you periodically and when it is necessary to do so. For instance, if our services are temporarily suspended for maintenance, we might send you an email, text message, flash notification or telephone call. If you do not wish to receive such alerts, you have the option to unsubscribe from such emails or opt out by sending an email to email@example.com.
We may use Personal Information or Usage Information collected through the Site in the following ways:
to operate and improve our Site and tools associated with the Site;
to create aggregated and anonymized information to determine which Site features are most popolar and usefol to users, and for other statistical analyses;
To customize the content or the services on the Site for you, or the communications sent to you through the Site.
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To analyze how the Site is used, diagnose technical problems;
Remember the basic information provided by you for effective access;
To confirm your identity in order to determine your eligibility to use the Site and avail our services;
To notify you about any changes to the Site;
To enable TC Global to comply with its legal and regolatory obligations;
For the purpose of sending administrative notices, service-related alerts and other similar communication with a view to optimizing the efficiency of the Site;
Doing market research, troubleshooting, protection against error, project planning, fraud and other criminal activity; and
Marketing activities: We use your information for marketing activities. These activities include:
Using your contact info to send you regolar news about relevant products and services. You can unsubscribe from email marketing communications quickly, easily, and anytime. All you need to do is click the "Unsubscribe" link included in each newsletter or other communication.
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When you participate in other promotional activities (e.g. sweepstakes, referral programs, or competitions), relevant info will be used to administer these promotions.
Administrative and Legal Reasons:
We cooperate with government and law enforcement officials and private parties to enforce and comply with the law. Thus, we may access, use, store, transfer and disclose your information (including Personal Information), including disclosure to third parties such as government or law enforcement officials or private parties as we reasonably determine is necessary and appropriate: (i) to satisfy any applicable law, regolation, governmental requests or legal process; (ii) to protect the safety, rights, property or security of TC Global, our services, the Site or any third party; (iii) to protect the safety of the public for any reason; (iv) to detect, prevent or otherwise address fraud, security or technical issues; and /or (v) to prevent or stop any activity we consider to be, or to pose a risk of being, an illegal, unethical, or legally actionable activity. Such disclosures may be carried out without notice to you.
THIRD PARTY CONTENT AND LINKS TO THIRD PARTY SERVICES
We do not include or offer third party products or services on our Site.
Your information will be retained with TC Global as long as it is needed by TC Global to provide services to you. If you wish to cancel your account or request that TC Global no longer uses your information to provide services, you may contact TC Global at firstname.lastname@example.org.. TC Global will promptly delete the information as requested. TC Global will retain and use your information as necessary to comply with its legal obligations, resolve disputes, and enforce its agreements or for other business purposes. When TC Global has no ongoing legitimate business need to process your information, we will either delete or anonymize it.
CONTACT & POLICY UPDATES
CHANGE OF INFORMATION AND CANCELLATION OF ACCOUNT
You are responsible for maintaining the accuracy of the information you submit to us, such as your contact information provided as part of account registration. If your Personal Information changes, or if you no longer desire to access the Site, you may correct, delete inaccuracies, or amend information by contacting us through email@example.com and we will respond within 72 hours of receipt of communication.
You have the right to request that we rectify or delete the personal data or restrict the processing of your personal data, if you think they are inaccurate. Furthermore, you have the right to object against the processing based on our legitimate interests as a legal basis. We are required to assess and act on your request. Additionally, you also have the right to data portability if it shoold become relevant. You have a right to lodge a complaint with your local supervisory authority.
[You may also cancel or modify your communications that you have elected to receive from the Site by logging into your user account and changing your communication preferences.
If you wish to cancel your account or request that we no longer use your information to provide you details with respect to our services and the Site, please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you wish to opt out of receiving non-essential communications such as promotional and marketing-related information regarding the Site and our services, please send TC Global an email at email@example.com.
By email: firstname.lastname@example.org
In the event of any grievances, user can contact the grievance officer at email@example.com or write to us at the following address:
The Chopras Global Holdings PTE Ltd
No. 3 Shenton Way
#10-05/06, Shenton House