Today we’re feeling our feelings, kiddos! Social-emotional learning (SEL) is one of the most important parts of early childhood education, in the classroom and at home.
Social skills, and emotional intelligence, are vital for getting a job, forming and maintaining friendships, finding a spouse, just about any human interaction. And tens of thousands of teachers incorporate this learning more formally into their class. Yet somehow many larger-scale curricula still seem to view social-emotional learning as a side benefit of being in a classroom, and spending time around other children. And that’s part of it! But that’s not all of it.
Without the understanding, self-awareness, and vocabulary, it’s not fair to expect children to magically be able to independently resolve conflicts, identify and work through their emotions, empathize with and help others, and solve stressful problems. We take the time to teach them calculus, but not how to communicate in a healthy way with another. More schools are implementing programs which address these issues, but we as an educational system have a long way to go.
Doesn’t it feel like an achievement every time one of your kids expresses their emotions clearly? Jesse says “I’m mad” instead of throwing the toy cup. Victory! Ali says “I’m upset” instead of making that mysterious high-pitched whining sound. Success!
To ensure these victories happens as often as possible, children deserve to get the same level of instructional scaffolding and preparation for handling social-emotional challenges, as they are given for handling any other academic or physical challenges.
Some ways to use this printable:
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Bitty City Players offers theater and science enrichment through after-school programs, in-school workshops, and events for ages 1-10 in NYC.
Learn more about the organization and our team here.