Woman at a large table of children in chef hats as she teaches them about baking

Social-emotional development is a crucial aspect of child development that influences their ability to build healthy relationships, cope with stress, and work through challenges. How children relate to others, manage their emotions, and solve problems can significantly impact their overall well-being and success in both school and later life. These reasons and more are why Long Island Hebrew Academy (LIHA) embraces and prioritizes social-emotional learning (SEL) in our curriculum, ensuring that we support the holistic development of our students.

The Hope that Comes from Social-Emotional Development

Where our students share a lot in their backgrounds, they are all still unique individuals with many differences. One of the main goals of this focus is for students to learn how to interact with each other and become accepting of each other’s differences. By establishing and promoting kindness, sharing, and caring for each other, they will have a better attitude toward each other and their studies. The overall environment becomes more harmonious and suited for learning. Some statistics from Casel.org that support this are:

kids celebrating in a circle arm and arm

5 Key Elements of the Social-Emotional Framework

Helping students develop these skills is every parent’s hope and every teacher’s goal. It is also a requirement by New York State that school districts integrate social-emotional learning (SEL) or character education into the school curriculum. The core competencies identified by the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) that are to be used to help with children’s development are:

1.     Self-Awareness

Recognizing and understanding one’s emotions, strengths, weaknesses, and values.

2.     Self-Management

Regulating emotions, controlling impulses, and adapting to changing circumstances.

3.     Social Awareness

Understanding and empathizing with others’ emotions, perspectives, and experiences.

4.     Relationship Skills

Communicating effectively, listening actively, collaborating with others, and resolving conflicts.

5.     Responsible Decision-Making

Considering ethical, moral, and social factors when making choices and taking actions.

boy and girl in class doing an art project together

Methods of Teaching SEL in the Classroom

Schools can promote social-emotional development through a variety of activities and lessons. For example, students can be taught to take responsibility for their actions, repair hurt feelings caused by conflicts they may have, and build empathy for others. Schools can also provide opportunities for students to participate in service-learning projects within their communities, clubs, and extracurricular activities that promote teamwork and leadership.

Building Resilience: LIHA’s Focus on Social-Emotional Learning

We at LIHA believe in creating an environment where the social-emotional development of our students is a priority. By doing so, students become better equipped to handle not only the unforeseen challenges of their studies but also their overall growth and development.