Reading, Math, English. All key to academic success whether sitting in the classroom or at home. But speaking of learning and success, what would you guess is the the biggest predictor of doing well in life? Social Emotional Intelligence. It’s the ability to work with people, build healthy relationships and in the future, manage others.
It may be too soon to talk about kindergartners managing others but they have a long academic career filled with social ups and downs ahead of them. The skills are being honed now. In the early years.
Social emotional learning is not a separate class, it’s an approach which is not only transferable, it is essential and home may be the hub.
Take Matt Bauman for example. Mr. Bauman is a Physical Education teacher at Hilton Head Island Elementary School For The Creative Arts during the the school day followed by being the Assistant Varsity baseball coach at Hilton Head Island High School in the afternoon. PE is under the Related Arts Department: Music, Theatre, Art, Dance, and Lego Lab. (Lego Lab! How cool is that?)
When they had to switch to teaching virtually, Matt kicked it into gear by providing motivational FaceBook posts and creating a unique calendar of activities.
Here’s the calendar…and why he “assigned” the things he did:
I created this daily Feel Good Calendar for my elementary kids to use while at home to hopefully help build self esteem, confidence, promote creativity, and boost mental and physical health during these weird times. If some of these activities also give parents a break, there’s an upside to that, too. One of my favorite quotes, especially now, is Love First. Teach Second.
Making children aware of their strengths, nurturing empathy, teaching how to communicate directly but not aggressively, encouraging a sense of humor, course correcting when or if they’re being insensitive, and building resilience will pay off well beyond this Coronavirus crisis. This is a test for all of us. Resilience is no joke.
Just ask Matt. His students are experiencing many disappointments. He is one of the Go-To Trusted Adults they are looking to for answers. There are no easy ones but the a consistent piece of advice he relies on for himself, the parents and his students is this: Great works are performed not by strength but by perseverance (Samuel Johnson). In other words: Keep going. Support each other. Repeat.
Leadership lessons have not been cancelled.