Given the emphasis on testing, national standards and the lagging achievement in American education, teachers are often overwhelmed with the academic information they must teach – let alone trying to balance concerns regarding student behavior and well-being. However, research finds that when young people have the basic social and emotional, or “soft” skills to handle everyday life, not only does it enhance their general well-being, but their academic achievement soars, as well.
Social and emotional learning (SEL) is the process through which young people learn to recognize and manage their emotions, set and achieve positive goals, establish and maintain positive relationships and make responsible decisions. Especially for young people living in poverty, it helps to develop the positive skills they need to overcome difficult circumstances, persevere and thrive.
A report from the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning notes that SEL programs – like Wyman’s Teen Outreach Program® (TOP®) – can reduce problem behavior in the classroom, allowing more time for constructive teaching and learning; strengthen student/teacher relationships; build students’ self-management skills; reduce student aggression and emotional distress; and increase positive attitudes toward school, classmates, and the self, overall.
Embedding Wyman’s Teen Outreach Program® (TOP®) within the school day is just one example of how Wyman is taking an innovative approach to preparing teens to not only be academically qualified, but also socially and emotionally ready to become productive members of society. To date, school systems in over 25 communities across the country have integrated Wyman’s TOP® into the school day to help whole classes of young people benefit from these outcomes.
Read about Wyman’s latest expansion to reach sixth and seventh grade students in the Normandy School District in St. Louis, and why social and emotional learning is important to employers, too.