Dr.Cherrye Vasquez – Social Emotional Learning
Parents and Teachers Addressing Bullying From the Front End Using Social Emotional Learning
There is no doubt that we are facing turbulent times as relevant to bullying issues, and anti-bullying news these days. One of the ways to combat bullying behaviors early on is to implement “Social Emotional Learning” skills and strategies within school curriculum. Because our schools are plagued with bullying nuances, we must address this issue aggressively right now — “head on,” however, it would behoove legislatures, educators and parents to begin discerning collaboratively about how we can rethink what steps can be taken sooner than we have been when our children are young starting from the womb, the years between home and Pre-K, and then Kindergarten in order to “get a handle on” bullying behaviors before it’s too late. We need to become proactive in our attempt and think this thing through wisely, and addressing the idea of Social Emotional Learning is one great way, in my professional opinion.
Parents must not become slack in their duties towards this issue. Parents are the first instructors for our children. Parents must parent! This means that children should be taught right from wrong, good from bad, manners, how to play fair, how to share, proper social etiquette, how to be considerate of their playmates, and how to handle their emotions. By imparting children with these skills, they are given a deep sense of care remorsefulness as well.
Coupled with these ideas, we must also train teachers via workshops, in-services and professional developments on skills that will help instill and promote care, consideration and just plain empathy for others within children. But, before we can do this even, we must have teachers who are “on board” and efficacious to the “call of duty” and those who are willing and flexible enough to try the implementation of “Social Emotional Learning” in their classrooms.
Let the truth be told, we have far too many teachers in our classrooms who do not work effectively with our children in terms of “Social Emotional Learning.” We have teachers who lack and who do not possess the ability to stress their own frustrations when interacting with their students themselves.
Personally, I’d like for teachers to treat my child the same way they’d expect for me to treat theirs. I’d like for teachers to treat my child the same way they would if the school principal, central office personnel, or if I were standing in their classrooms. Our children’s feelings have an impact on their behaviors while in the school setting, believe it or not.
Since “Social Emotional Learning” has been tossed around as one way of reforming and decreasing havoc in our schools, it is worthy of our legislators attention, especially where bullying is concerned. How can this new trend help decrease bullying behaviors? One way is for teachers to take out time in their day to address social skills. Social skills should be part of the curriculum. Because our nation’s schools are growing more multicultural each day, we must not only teach tolerance for others, but respect and appreciation. Children must embrace contrasts as well as likenesses one to another.
In addition, teachers must not talk down to, use sarcasm and bully students. Shame on the teacher that does this, and feels justified that they can because they are the “adult in charge.” “Social Emotional Learning” has to be a “two way” learning experience. Teachers should monitor their own interactions and behaviors, and perhaps consider sometimes putting themselves on their own classroom conduct charts. Our children notice and pattern their behaviors from what they observe from their teacher role models just as they do from their parental role models.
So, why not focus on “Social Emotional Learning?”
Perhaps it may help to define all three words that encompass the phrase “Social Emotional Learning” separately:
Social: human interaction and pleasant companionships of individuals and groups who form cooperative relationships with one another
Emotional: a conscious mental reaction to behavioral changes; a state of feeling
Learning: act of experience to, or exposure of a conditioning of knowledge of skills acquired by instruction
Think for just a moment of how learning is defined. If teachers have the ability to condition children while showering them with knowledge and skills, teachers have lots of power in their hands and over our children, wouldn’t you agree? Teachers can instill and promote empathy within children as they teach them.
Our theorists and researchers in the field of “Social Emotional Learning” mainly agree that we have to rethink what motivates students to want to learn. If we know how emotions drive attention, learning, memory, and decision making, we will soon learn that integrating “Social Emotional Learning” will enhance these areas, too.
I believe that we must start somewhere, and I always remember to say this. We must involve the whole community from school district stakeholders, community leaders, district administrators, teachers and parents working together to solve the bullying pandemic.
We can “nip bullying in the bud” by addressing it from the “front end” right from its inception, from the beginning coupled with “Social Emotional Learning.” Once we see bullying behaviors forming, we must stop it!
- Discrimination and bullying-Help each other,stand up,speak up (authorspromotion.wordpress.com)
- Social Emotional Learning (conversations4children.wordpress.com)
- Serve With an Open Mind: Social-Emotional Learning (cityyearbostonblog.com)
- Signs That Your Child is Being Bullied (parenting-success.com)
- Growing Sound Releases 6 New Music Videos for Bullying Prevention (pr.com)
- Bullying Prevention and Social-Emotional Learning (iesnews2.wordpress.com)