Social Emotional Learning in High School Classroom: 3 Reasons it is an absolute must do

social emotional learning in high school classrooms why it is an absolute must do

Tackling social emotional learning in high school can be frustrating. Unlike the elementary grades, there isn’t always a clear-cut curriculum for it, which can leave us educators feeling lost and asking, ‘how do you teach social-emotional learning in high school?’ or ‘why do high school SEL programs feel lame?’. Rest assured that there are authentic, fun ways to weave social emotional learning into your high school classroom. We all know that keeping students focused for long stretches is no easy feat, and let’s face it, not every lesson is going to be a showstopper. Enter: SEL!

Recognizing just how crucial effective classroom management is, especially backed by ample research, becomes a game-changer in dealing with these hurdles. That’s where these five awesome classroom management strategies come into play, perfectly tailored for high school settings with a special emphasis on social emotional learning. They’re not only going to keep your students engaged and on the right path, but they’ll also let you shine in what you do best – teaching!

High school isn’t just about textbooks and exam grades, it’s about making sure our students leave with skills that set them up for success in life. So, how do we weave competencies for social-emotional learning into the high school experience? Think of it like a compass that guides students through life’s twists and turns, teaching them empathy, self-awareness, and how to bounce back from tough times. In an energetic and chaotic high school classroom, you’ll see SEL in action as students confidently share their ideas, collaborate effectively, and show empathy towards their peers.

Why is social emotional learning important in high school? Because life isn’t just about cold, hard facts; it’s about forging connections, understanding others, and growing as individuals. Social-emotional learning isn’t an add-on. It’s the foundation that molds students into flexible, caring, and resilient human beings.

Classroom Management Strategy:

  1. Greet students at the door

Before students have a chance to sit down, greet them at the door, with a smile, and by name. This small gesture goes a long way in creating connections with students. It makes them feel seen and like a valuable part of the class landscape. Greeting them by name and with a smile might be the only point of contact they have with another human being in the course of their day. Focusing on creating connection points will eliminate unwanted behavior while honing classroom management skills. Students will be more likely to buy into your presence and the lesson you have prepared for them.

classroom management tips

Classroom Management Tip:

  1. Gamify your lessons

One year I had a class of students who were absolutely obsessed with their pets. I had them email me pictures of their beloved animals and I secretly embedded the pictures into our Google Slides presentations. Students were so excited to possibly see their pet pop up and I’ve never had higher engagement rates during a lesson! We even went as far as to create random pets for those students who didn’t have them at home. It became a game of looking for our ‘class pet’ (a bunny that we named Megalosaurus… yup, really) during direct instruction.

Classroom Management Tip:

  1. Candy

It’s the simplest trick in the book. The day after Halloween, grab a huge bag of Smarties. Keep them on reserve for when students do an awesome job focusing, participating, or engaging with the lesson. Marvel is confident in how easy it is to teach once you’ve got candy to dangle in front of them! Students get so excited for a sweet treat and for increased incentive to participate and pay attention to the lesson.

Classroom Management Tip:

  1. Weekly positive emails

The last thing teachers want to do after a busy day is sending another email. But the power of sending two positive emails home each week is unmatched. Choose two students – maybe a student who had a tough week previously. Catch them doing something great. Email mom, dad, and copy the student on the email. Voila! Watch as their positive behavior continues to thrive in your classroom. A little love note can go a long way.

Classroom Management Tip:

  1. Ask them how they are doing

“How are you?” can be a simple question. It can also be loaded. We can listen to the responses passively, or actively. Using weekly social emotional learning check ins in our classroom promotes the importance of mental health. It lets students know that we are about them as people, not just students. Carving time out of your busy week to honor and hold space for mental wellness creates room for students to dig deeper. It promotes reflective thinking and critical thinking, two pillars of a successful classroom management system.

Fueling Positivity: Supercharge Social Emotional Learning in High School!

There are so many ways you can regain control in your classroom. You don’t have to battle misbehaviors alone. In just five minutes, try something new and watch misbehaviors disappear. Need more support? I’ve got you. Email or DM me and let’s chat! I can help you troubleshoot to make your day run more smoothly.

Which one of these classroom management techniques will you be trying this week? Many of these classroom management tips are rooted in social emotional learning. If you’re new to SEL but want to learn more, check out this recent post. Don’t miss out on weekly emails where I talk about SEL tips and tricks, too.

Thank you so much for being here. Make it a great day and change someone’s life today!💕 Dani

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