Learning is believed to be all about academics, and this has gone on for far too long. Children and young adults have been groomed to believe that grades were everything. This has inspired competition more than collaboration, discrimination, and segregation. Young ones have struggled in many other ways than the academic sphere can comprehend. These struggles have led to the development of complexes built on anxiety and the inability to deal with other pressures. Skills like social interaction and emotional intelligence are required to enable young ones to deal with the pressures that come with growth and development.
Children and young adults have to be taught to incorporate social and emotional skills, so they do not develop mild neurotic cases that tend to play up in early adulthood. This training or practice has to begin at the early stages, so it is best to introduce this in the classrooms. The question is how do we go about integrating the SEL in our classrooms?
Group Task/ Teamwork
Knowing how to relate with other people is a skill everyone kids should be taught. The world is becoming a global village and as they grow up more interaction would be required with peoples from other races and cultures. Working in teams, learning cooperation, and appreciation for each other’s input is mentally healthy. Through such activities, lifelong friendships are forged and confidence built. Soft skills like planning, delegation, and support are encouraged.
Playing grouped games is also a very useful tool in getting young ones to work in teams. They do not feel dissociated or segregated among their peers. They can discover what they are good at and build on it. During this period of the pandemic, many kids have been unable to socialize like they used to, and this has led to a lot of frustration. Isolation, confusion, and frustration amongst students; a topic posted at PositiveAction, focuses on explaining how institutions can deal with these challenges during the pandemic. Parents are encouraged to keep their wards grounded in positive actions else we stand to lose a part of our generation of students to depression and anxiety.
Practical Lessons on social interaction
Social interaction includes gestures like greetings, extending a helping hand, starting a conversation, giving complimentary statements, etc. Many young ones are lost in a world of their own wanting to socialize but not knowing how or where to start. These skills ought to be taught using images and practical illustrations in classrooms.
When these young ones know how to cut through social barriers, it helps to build confidence for self-acceptance and interaction among their peers. Social interaction is important in the real world. These wards are going to work in offices where they would have to interact with different people daily. They must learn people skills early so they cannot only excel at their duties but also become great leaders.
Teach the basics of psychology
Psychology ought to be introduced at a basic level in institutions. Talks on attitude, belief systems, conflict resolution, and emotional intelligence need to be taught in classrooms. The social interaction skills are helpful but dealing with emotional struggles is far more reaching. Emotions forge a core part of every individual and are primarily responsible for an action. We do not do everything we think, but we do almost everything we feel. Many psychotic and neurotic cases are built out of unresolved emotional hurts and pain.
These arise as a result of challenges these young ones have encountered in their life. Teachers have to take out time to explain the impact of different circumstances on our emotions, and that being able to rise above it is dependent on how we respond to it. They have to teach students that the first form of belief is the belief in yourself. They also have to learn that more important than winning a war, winning the peace is essential. So, they must avoid conflicts at all costs. They also must be taught that they do not have to react to every action or be predictable but rather be dynamic.
Appreciate diversity, difference and uniqueness
Appreciation for one's differences and that of others is a step towards maturity. Understanding that people would always be different, and these differences occur in a given number of ways is necessary. The knowledge that being different is not a flaw rather it is an advantage is essential to build self-confidence.
These differences could be based on skin color, body structure and size, growth rate, level of intelligence, speech differences, and so on. Young lads must be taught to see people for who they are learning more about them, not discriminate against them. Many of such negative actions have resulted in the rate of teenage involvement in drugs, sexual abuse, and crime.
Without a proactive strategy, we stand to lose our generation of youngsters to many influences. It is important to state that technology has its limits, and the mind of these young ones must positively engage in real-life scenarios to imbibe these SEL skills.