Written by: Guia P. De Jesus
Teacher III, Cupang Elementary School
During the COVID 19 crisis, learning is now, more than ever, should be focused not only on the intellectual or academic but on emotional and social learning of a child. Social and emotional learning consists of teaching self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, responsible decision making, and relationship management.
As a teacher, providing students with knowledge, practice for application to real life situations, and proper guidance is essential. This kind of learning helps develop emotional well-being, self-regulation, classroom relationships, and kindness among students. It also decreases anxiety, depression, and disruptive behaviors in students such as bullying, aggression, anger, and hostility. In the long run, such effects help significantly in the academic achievements of the students.
One study of 36 Grade 1 teachers showed that when teachers were emotionally supportive to their students, the children are less aggressive and has better self-control. This is contrast with the use of behavior management which did not help in the students’ self-control. This further signified that improving emotional competence helped protect a student from bullying. A series of longitudinal studies further showed positive impacts into middle life.
The teachers, on the other hand, also benefits from teaching social and emotional learning. They experience more job satisfaction, showed more positive emotions towards students, manage classes better, and less burnout. They are also able to cultivate more creativity in the classroom. They are able to allow more room in autonomy and critical thinking among students which made their classes more interactive and meaningful. Thus, providing support to a social and emotional learning-based lessons can harness both the students and the teachers’ emotional and social skills. This greatly helps in growing emotion regulation skills for both parties.
There are programs that trains teachers to the proper use of social and emotional learning. These can be included in their learning action seminars and trainings. Some are provided by private training companies. There are training providers that tie up with schools to provide the program to the teachers. This is an opportunity that teachers should not miss and administrators can support.