As teachers, one of the advantages of helping families of students with strategies to support SEL skills is that it also reinforces family bonds.
Seeing as the family is the bedrock of a child’s social and emotional development, it is only wise that teachers promote social and emotional learning at their students’ homes since the impact is not limited to the student but extends to the family as well.
The beautiful thing about social and emotional learning is that it can happen almost anywhere thereby making it easy to implement.
While teachers have in-depth understanding of social and emotional learning (SEL), the case may not be the same for some families as they have limited or no knowledge of its definition or how it is referenced in education.
Teachers can help families of their students understand what SEL is and help generate awareness for the students’ social and emotional development by introducing them to important terms they may hear about SEL, like self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship-building skills, and responsible decision-making.
Ensure that you are well equipped with resources and data to address their concerns regarding the subject.
You can start by creating resource pages for these families, adding SEL activities in your journals, encouraging them to take hardcopy resources home, and even organizing SEL family events to bring the whole school community together.
Teachers can also help families build the libraries in their homes with books that accentuate SEL skills.
Accompanying it with additional questions for discussion will help families to deeply engage their learning capacity and strengthen certain social and emotional abilities.
There are many helpful books that teach SEL with its associated competencies and skills – social awareness skills like respect and empathy; self-management skills like resilience; relationship skills like listening and teamwork, etc.
Interactive podcasts are also helpful resources for teachers to help families engage their children. You could explore storytelling podcasts that can help students via participatory SEL movement, exercises, and music.
Also, teachers can initiate journal prompts via creative expression and reflections.
You can give families creative modalities and reflection questions to prompt them to share their ideas and even act them out.
When teachers engage families in SEL activities, they equip them with the resources to reflect on social and emotional experiences together and equip them with tools to promote social and emotional experiences at home.
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