Things were simpler when the classroom was a one room schoolhouse, the children all looked the same, were most likely related, and only came when there wasn’t more work to be done in their homes or on their farms.
Today, schools are a melting pot of diversity. Students are often around other kids with different backgrounds, skin colors and economic status. It can be a lot to take in, especially for young students who have mostly been around family and friends.
And then, there are the everyday challenges students’ face, such as peer pressure, bullying and simply trying to fit in. When faced with the tasks of meeting educational responsibilities, overcoming social anxieties and meeting new people, kids can often act out in ways that appear to be bad behavior.
To help them cope with this myriad of challenges, schools should look beyond traditional education.
“Social and emotional learning (SEL) is the process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.” – Definition from the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning.
Through all of Mindful Practices’ student programs, SEL practices are applied and students are given activities that help strengthen their self-awareness and help them relate more easily to others. While our yoga programs may offer the obvious health benefits that come with physical activity and a calm mind, by including SEL practices, we are contributing to the growth of the whole person.
Still not convinced? Don’t just take our word for it.
Durlak, Weissberg et al.’s recent meta-analysis of 213 rigorous studies of SEL in schools indicates that students receiving quality SEL instruction demonstrated:
- better academic performance
- improved attitudes and behaviors
- fewer negative behaviors
- reduced emotional distress
The study showed students with higher test than non SEL students, students exhibiting less risky behaviors such as drugs, violence and bullying, and kids that were happier to be at school, more willing to learn, and just more content overall.
School is meant to prepare students for the world they will face when they graduate. We are doing them a great disservice if we focus only on their educational development, given that the world can be an emotionally taxing and overwhelming place. Let Mindful Practices introduce your student to the benefits of social emotional learning through fun activities, games and programs.