6 Reasons Why Teachers Need Social Emotional Learning in the Classroom

By: The RethinkEd Team

group of students holding rainbow tarp in green grass field during daytime

Last updated Aug 21, 2023


You may have heard a lot about Social Emotional Learning (SEL) recently. This could be from attending conferences, talking with colleagues, or reading the news. SEL has been making waves in the education community, and for good reason. 

SEL helps students by promoting self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making. It equips students with invaluable skills for life while creating a positive and supportive school environment. 

It’s time to get on board and establish SEL success! 

If you don’t already love SEL, here are 6 compelling reasons why you should love SEL:  

1. Students Learn How to Deal With Complex Emotions

Navigating emotions can be difficult, especially for children and teens. In fact, a child or teen commits suicide every 3 hours and 33 minutes. SEL programs are essential for students’ emotional well-being. They provide them with the skills to manage difficult emotions. 

Why must educators help students develop the skills to manage their emotions? It helps students change their way of thinking to better manage stress, motivate themselves, and make better decisions. 

SEL helps students to comprehend their emotional states better. They learn how to manage stress, anxiety, and other difficulties. SEL programs focus on helping students regulate their emotions, thoughts, and behaviors. This is important for them to be successful in different scenarios. 

Fostering emotional intelligence through SEL gives students the power to make healthier decisions. It also helps them to become more resilient and create positive relationships. This ultimately leads to improved mental health and wellbeing.    

2. Teachers Feel Less Stressed

A recent survey revealed that 73% of educators often feel stressed at work and 24% feel sometimes stressed. These educators also report feeling emotionally or physically exhausted at the end of the day. 

The well-being of teachers is essential for a positive learning environment. SEL programs can significantly reduce educator stress. Fostering social and emotional skills in students contributes to a more harmonious classroom atmosphere. This alleviates stress for teachers. 

The benefits of SEL extend beyond students. Educators can also benefit from SEL skills, such as stress management, decision-making, and communication. 

Teachers can strengthen their SEL skills, which provides them with valuable tools. These tools can help them manage stress, increase resilience, and foster effective communication. Ultimately, these benefits lead to a healthier and more satisfying work-life balance. Ultimately, investing in SEL not only benefits students but also supports the overall well-being of the entire educational community    

3. SEL Provides Schools With a Bullying Prevention Toolkit

Students who are bullied are twice as likely as their non-bullied peers to develop negative health effects. A recent survey showed that defiant and disruptive behaviors are linked to bullying. Poor peer relationships and low self-esteem increase the chance of being bullied. 

Research shows that students who have been bullied are more likely to suffer negative health effects. It is therefore essential that we focus on effective self-prevention strategies for students. 

SEL programs offer a comprehensive toolkit for schools to address and prevent bullying. SEL programs aid students in learning how to empathize and understand the perspectives of others. They also teach students to respect others, negotiate conflict, and ask for help when needed. 

SEL helps students understand the consequences of their actions on others. It teaches them to consider different perspectives and to develop empathy and compassion. Additionally, SEL empowers students to navigate conflicts peacefully and assertively, reducing the likelihood of engaging in bullying behaviors. 

SEL classrooms and programs also help to increase self-confidence. Improved self-esteem and self-confidence empower students to resist and report bullying. This helps create a positive and inclusive school climate, where all students feel safe and supported.    

4. Students Are More Employable

In today’s competitive job market, employers value candidates who possess not only technical knowledge but also strong social and emotional skills. 

Employers are seeking employees with strong communication skills. They should be self-motivated and able to solve problems on their own. 

Additionally, the ideal candidate should be able to work well with others. This is according to a white paper report. These are all skills SEL programs focus on! 

SEL programs play a vital role in equipping students with the essential job-readiness skills sought by employers. SEL programs emphasize effective communication, self-motivation, problem-solving, and teamwork. This helps cultivate individuals who are well-rounded and better prepared to excel in the workplace. 

These skills enable students to navigate professional relationships, collaborate effectively, adapt to different work environments, and demonstrate resilience and self-discipline. This, in turn, increases their chances of getting a job and their prospects for long-term career success. Investing in SEL education has benefits for students. It helps their personal growth and equips them with the skills they need to succeed in the changing job market.  

5. Students Are Less Likely to End up in Jail

A study was conducted over a long period of time. It revealed that the aggression displayed by children aged eight can predict criminal activity during the next 22 years. Current statistics show that one student is arrested every 31 seconds. 

We must all consider strategies to prevent conduct problems and reduce aggression in our schools. SEL programs help students develop impulse control, respect others, and make ethical decisions.  

6. School Districts Save Money!

Implementing SEL interventions in school districts has multiple benefits. It yields positive educational and social outcomes for students. It also generates substantial cost savings. 

Investing in SEL programs has been shown in studies to be a wise investment. For every dollar spent on SEL programs, there is a return of $11. 

For every dollar school districts invest in SEL interventions, there is a return of $11! The return on investment for social-emotional learning programs is very high, social-emotional learning programs is 11 to 1. 

This financial benefit arises from various factors, including improved academic performance, reduced behavioral issues, increased attendance rates, and enhanced graduation rates. 

School districts can create a supportive learning environment by proactively addressing students’ social and emotional needs. This leads to long-term cost savings as it reduces the need for costly interventions, special education services, and behavioral measures. 

The implementation of SEL programs is a cost-effective investment in student success. It enhances student well-being. It also contributes to the financial stability and efficiency of school districts. 

Conclusion

SEL is an impactful approach that benefits students, teachers, and school districts in numerous ways. SEL equips students with essential skills to navigate complex emotions, manage stress, and make responsible decisions. It also reduces stress levels for educators and enhances their own SEL skills, fostering a positive learning environment. 

Moreover, SEL provides schools with a powerful bullying prevention toolkit, promoting empathy, conflict resolution, and self-confidence among students. 

Additionally, SEL cultivates the ability to get a job skills sought by employers, decreases the likelihood of jail time, and delivers substantial cost savings for school districts. 

By embracing SEL, we can empower students, nurture their well-being, and create thriving educational communities. 

Students can achieve SEL success through intentional and consistent instruction and practice. Join the movement: Check out RethinkEd’s upcoming SEL product line. 

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