Social-Emotional Learning

What is Social-Emotional Learning?

Social-Emotional Learning helps students develop the skills they need to thrive academically, socially, and emotionally.

By teaching students how to recognize and regulate their emotions, navigate relationships, and make responsible decisions, SEL at the French American Academy helps create a positive and supportive learning environment where all students can thrive and grow.

Read below to learn the 3 main ways we develop our students social & emotional skills, so that they excel in their lives.

How We Support our Student's Social-Emotional Development

1. Responsive Classroom Approach

Students learn to feel a sense of belonging, purpose & confidence when teachers model specific positive behaviors. The Responsive Classroom approach is how we train our teachers to model those positive behaviors.

2. Growth Mindset Development

By instilling in our students that intelligence & talents can be developed over time, we are training our students to be more determined, persistent, and successful as adults.  

3. Non-Violent Communication

Our students learn how to communicate and identify their own and others’ unmet needs and to express their feeling to allow students to be heard deeply, experience a community of support, and develop ease and confidence around preventing and resolving conflicts.

Why we use the
Responsive Classroom Approach?

To help fulfill our mission of building healthy & well-rounded students, we use the Responsive Classroom Approach.

This approach is about creating a nurturing, inclusive, and safe learning environment. Thanks to this environment, students learn to challenge themselves and express their ideas, beliefs, and needs. This leads to emotional & social maturity and personal growth.

Some example of Responsive Classroom in practices includes Morning Meetings, Interactive Modelling, Guided Discovery, Teacher’s Language, and Energizers!

Responsive classroom FAA Teachers training
The FAA Teachers during one of the Responsive Classroom Approach trainings.

The 6 Principles of Responsive Classroom

Social and academic learning are fully connected. 

A student who excels academically but has no awareness or control over their emotions will struggle in life. Therefore, developing the social & emotional skills of students is equally essential to children’s growth.

To better understand how we develop the social & emotional skills in the classroom, check out our blog on “Building Classroom Communities in the First Month of School.”

Children learn best when they can make choices about what they are learning. Likewise, it is better when they make their own discoveries through trial and error. Moreover, there should be a balance between teacher-directed and child-initiated experiences. As a consequence, in early education and lower elementary classrooms, teachers often model “guided discoveries” to help children explore the world around them.

While children do learn when they are working alone, they learn the most when they are engaged in meaningful ways with others. For example, peers help to clarify concepts in different ways than teachers do, but often just as effectively.

Because teachers interact with students on a daily basis, they end up knowing them very well. Another key point is our small class size that also allows the teachers to sense the children with a great accuracy. As a consequence, students feel safe and empowered. Indeed, the more a child feel the school knows them, the more likely he/she will succeed.

Teachers and staff display the social and academic skills the school teaches. Through their daily interactions, they act as a role model for students. In addition, parents play a key role in the modeling of social skills.

Parent involvement is essential to children’s education. The greatest gains are made when educators work with parents as partners. Teachers, Staff and Parents make the Academic Triangle of Cooperation that sets students for success.

We Instill in our Students a
Growth Mindset

We instill and cultivate a growth mindset in the classrooms to encourage students to believe intelligence and talents can be developed over time. Studies have shown that students with a growth mindset are more persistent, have determination, and are not afraid to make mistakes or face difficulties. 

Dr. Dweck coined the terms fixed mindset and growth mindset to describe the underlying beliefs people have about learning and intelligence. When students believe they can get smarter, they understand that effort makes them stronger. Therefore they put in extra time and effort, which eventually leads to higher achievement. 

Developing a Growth Mindset is part of our curriculum’s daily approach through how our teachers and staff interact & encourage each student.

Carol Dweck – A Study on Praise and Mindsets

Non-Violent Communication

We create an in and out-of-classroom environment that supports teaching students how to identify their unmet needs and understand their feeling. Needs are the source of how students feel, and when our students learn how to express their needs, and their needs are fulfilled, our students feel positive feelings such as being inspired, grateful, and engaged.

The NVC Method

  1. Observe and identify the situation without evaluating or judging
  2. Identify the feeling inside of yourself 
  3. Identify your needs or desire 
  4. Formulate a request
 
Why incorporating NVC in the classroom, FAA students are more socially and emotional self-aware, and better prepared for being healthy members of our global society.

Frequently Asked Questions

Social-emotional learning (SEL) is important in schools because it helps students develop the skills they need to be successful in school and life.

SEL skills include things like self-awareness, self-regulation, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making. Students who have developed strong SEL skills tend to have better mental health, be more resilient, and have better social skills. They are also more likely to be engaged in their learning and to have positive relationships with their peers and teachers.

Overall, SEL is an important part of a well-rounded education.

We teach social-emotional learning (SEL) across all grade levels, including preschool, elementary, and middle school. SEL is an important part of our well-rounded education and helps students develop the skills they need to be successful in school and in life. At the FAA, we believe it is important to start teaching SEL skills early and continue reinforcing and building upon these skills as students progress through school. We incorporate various social-emotional learning methods and approaches, including a responsive classroom, a growth mindset, and non-violent communication.

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