04 Jan Why SEL Programs Should Be Integrated During the School Day
When it comes to social and emotional learning in schools, it has traditionally been taught after school, in specialized programs for select individuals. But with the ongoing pandemic, economic difficulties around the country, and increasing stresses from social issues — it’s time these programs took a larger role in students’ lives. And to do that requires integrating mental health directly into the school day. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of incorporating social and emotional learning into teens’ daily schedules.
During the teen years especially, having a sense of belonging and community is extremely important. Traditional classes often don’t leave space for bonding, or feeling a true connection with classmates. Integrating social emotional learning into the school day gives students a space during the day where they can build stronger connections and ultimately a smaller community within their school.
When they aren’t included in the regular school day, specialty classes and programs can feel very separated. By incorporating these programs as a class period, it doesn’t disrupt the flow of the students’ schedules, and makes it feel more like any other class. This can help students to treat it as such, and be able to absorb all the information they are learning much better.
In addition to absorbing the information, integrating programs into the school day makes it easier for students to apply what they learn into their other classes and throughout their day. For example, the communication skills they learn in a SEL program can be taken into their English or history classes and ultimately make them more successful and well-rounded.
There are so many things teenagers do during the day, with only so many hours to do it! Between school, homework, extracurricular activities and family time, it can get stressful, and this lack of time sometimes deters students from getting involved. Having these programs as part of their day frees up time for them to participate in sports, clubs, or any other after-school activities, and gives them more time to be social with their friends outside of school.
In today’s polarized, confusing and stressful world, our teens need social and emotional learning more than ever. That’s why, at Tilly’s Life Center (TLC), we’re dedicated to bringing mental health support to teens everywhere. With our virtual social and emotional learning workshops, we’re giving students the support, motivation and guidance they need to deal with stress, manage their emotions, and reach their full potential. For more information, visit tillyslifecenter.org