from Principal Tom Jones
Social Emotional Learning
This month is the fourth in my recurring theme: social emotional learning competencies. The five areas are: self-awareness, social awareness, responsible decision making, self-management, and relationship skills.
The area of social awareness is the focus for January.
Social awareness is "the ability to take the perspective of and empathize with others, including those from diverse backgrounds and cultures. The ability to understand social and ethical norms for behavior and to recognize family, school, and community resources and supports." -CASEL 2017
During distance learning, our students are experiencing a very different way of learning; the focus on development of social awareness is of great importance during this time of social distancing. Here's how you can support your children in developing this competency at home.
In order to support our TK-2 students with developing and growing their social awareness, you can describe characteristics of two people that are similar and different. Another great way is to use attention and listening skills to assess facial expressions, body language, and tone of voice. Both of these can be done while reading a book, watching a TV show or movie, or during interactions with others either in person or virtually. Modeling respect and awareness of a variety of cultures and groups is also a powerful way to build social awareness in our younger students.
In supporting our older students in grades 3-5, the same areas of focus is appropriate. Social awareness skills can be further developed by talking about the impact of one's own behavior on the emotions of others (each of our households are perfect for this) and recognizing multiple points of view or perspective in a situation. This allows for compromise, problem solving, and a better understanding of how each of us plays a part in creating and nurturing our relationships with those whom we interact both in person and virtually.
Like all the social emotional skills we have been exploring for our students, there is a lot more to this competency. Investing in our children through deliberate practice and interaction with social awareness will pay huge dividends in their overall development.
Next month I will discuss our final competency of self-awareness . . .
Tom Jones, Principal