The Importance of Character, Integrity and Happiness
With the hope vaccines bring, we must now pull ourselves out from our cozy nests, pods and intimate social bubbles. We need to not only make new friends but also to repair what has been damaged during the pandemic.
Most of us agree that it is more important for a child to develop good character, integrity, and find happiness than it is to get good grades, a good job, or to be accepted into a good college.
Teachers agree and hold themselves accountable to guiding students to build confidence, help others and apply classroom learning outside the school. But parents need education and support to know how – how to help children learn social emotional skills.
Students themselves want more social-emotional and service-learning opportunities in school. In a survey of students* who chose to drop out of school, the leading reason was that they did not see the relevance of school to real life.
Parents, teachers, and students are seeking opportunities to link learning to life. If anything has been learned from the pandemic it is that schools and homes need to prioritize such efforts. The next generation of parents and leaders must create a learning structure that includes knowledge, empathy, resilience, appreciation of diversity, and civic dispositions to innovate through times of crisis.
Social Emotional Learning Today in Schools
Fewer than 1 in 4 teachers report SEL is implemented in their school. The path forward is clear, states need SEL implementation on a programmatic, schoolwide and districtwide basis. In addition, both SEL and service learning must be integrated into workforce development systems in order to match our students to employers needs.
Now is The Time for Reflection and Resetting
The pandemic has changed the way we see the world, now and in the future. Our children will be dictating how society, economy and democracy evolves. The skills that are built today will be the ones employed and taught to the following generation.
How To SEL provides the resources for full district-wide SEL implementation.
- * 2005 Civic Study
- “Ready to Engage: Perspectives of Parents and Teachers on Social and Emotional Learning and Service-Learning in America’s Public Schools.”
- Students Disrupted. One Year into the Pandemic