Teaching is a difficult job in the best of times, but during the pandemic, many educators are feeling increased stress, anxiety, and pressure.
SEL can help!
When educators have strong social-emotional skills, they are:
- more resilient and better equipped to manage stress, the demands of teaching, and students’ needs
- better prepared to teach SEL to students
- able to model social-emotional skills authentically in the moment
Increasing Stress Management Skills
Strengthening educators’ social-emotional skills can have a positive impact on their health and well-being as well as how well they can do their jobs. Teaching can be stressful, especially during distance and hybrid learning. Effective stress management skills are essential to avoid burnout and high rates of turnover. Self-regulation, coping skills, self-efficacy, and intrinsic motivation are additional skills that educators rely on every day and help them meet the demands of teaching.
Strengthening Teacher Preparedness
Building students’ social-emotional skills is also important, especially during the pandemic. To effectively teach SEL, teachers must have a strong understanding of SEL and its impact on student learning. Yet most teachers don’t receive pre-service training in SEL. Many educators feel they need to increase their own knowledge about SEL and want more guidance on how to integrate SEL into their instructional time. Strengthening teachers’ social-emotional skills will improve SEL instructional effectiveness, which can contribute to positive student outcomes.
Authentic SEL Modeling
Teachers need strong social-emotional skills to be able to model respect, appropriate behaviors, and healthy communication. Modeling also helps teach students effective decision-making, empathy, and calming strategies when something goes wrong. When teachers model social-emotional skills authentically, classroom climate and culture improve, students feel more connected to their teachers, and classroom conflict and disruptive behaviors decrease.
SEL can help educators persevere during tough times, and it makes sense that educators need SEL just as much as students do. Strong social-emotional skills enhance educators’ health and well-being and their ability to manage stress. A solid understanding of SEL also improves student instruction and helps teachers effectively model SEL in the classroom. All of these benefits promote better student outcomes.
Interested in diving deeper? Watch our on-demand webinar, Promoting Teacher Resilience, and read our white paper, Adults Need SEL, Too: The Case for Strengthening Educators’ SEL to learn more about the benefits of building social-emotional competence in adults and how to get started.