Family dynamics have changed. According to one study, families only have 37 minutes of quality time together during the week. This is hardly enough time for a student to get the help that they need with their homework, let alone get the parenting that they need in order to be well-balanced. This can lead to behavioral problems in the classroom, too.
A teacher’s job has always been difficult. After all, they are responsible for molding young minds. Those young minds become the future. However, teachers have had to evolve over the years. What happened in the classroom 5 years ago is considerably different than what it’s like now.
Whether you’re a teacher or an administrator, it’s important to explore the struggles that teachers have in today’s classroom.
Media is Everywhere
One of the easiest things to see is how media has had an impact in the classroom. Chalkboards have been replaced with dry erase boards that serve as screens for interactive projectors. The internet is wired into every classroom, allowing teachers to share more about the world with students.
With every positive is a negative. With media being so much more prevalent, it’s not uncommon for middle schoolers to have phones. Teachers have to be babysitters to ensure that students aren’t texting and surfing the internet instead of listening to a classroom lesson. Eldventir Adventures offers a digital solution to social-emotional learning, allowing kids to use the internet while learning at the same time.
Behaviors are Different
20 years ago, the average student would ride the bus home and be greeted by a parent. That parent would be around in order to help with homework. The family dynamic was such that there was a family dinner and parents would talk to their kids.
If parents are not dealing with social problems in the home, it is left to the teachers to do it at school. Circling back to the media, the screen time is considerably more than it used to be. Many parents admit to using tablets and smartphones as digital babysitters to keep their kids occupied. Having kids in front of the blue light for too long can lead to less sleep time, causing tired (and cranky) kids in the classroom.
Data is More Visible
Finally, teachers have more data than they once did. This makes it easier to take a custom learning approach to students. Rather than teaching everyone in the class the same way, hoping that they will all absorb the information equally, it makes it easier to find out about student achievement. Lesson plans can be tailored. Further, it allows the administration to balance the classrooms more effectively.
In the end, it’s important to see how teachers have had to evolve. It isn’t easy, which is another reason why it’s necessary to use different tools. New challenges require the use of new tactics, including introducing social-emotional learning into the classroom. Find out how Eldventir Adventures can help as an SEL platform with skills-based lessons in the classroom.
Social-emotional learning tends to be a buzz phrase lately. It’s being brought up at more teacher workshops around the globe as teachers and administrators want to give students the best possible experience. However, is it something that can help inside your classroom? At Eldventir, we have a poll for you to take.
- Do any of your students feel as though they’re being bullied?
- Is it hard to get group activities going because students don’t get along?
- Do students fail to raise their hand in class for fear of being teased?
- If your students were left alone for a day, would they function appropriately?
- Are they failing to retain a bulk of the classroom information you feed to them daily?
If you answered “yes” to at least one of these, social-emotional learning absolutely can make a difference in the classroom. You have to look at how you’re feeding information to your students and how they’re able to make positive relationships.
Students aren’t being taught empathy and other important life skills in the home in the same way that they were 10 years ago. This means that the job of a teacher just became a lot harder.
How are you supposed to teach core subjects and manage emotions? It may seem as though you have to choose between one or the other. However, this is not accurate. Social-emotional learning is an approach that will allow you to teach the core competencies to students while also helping children to understand and manage emotions. As students learn to manage their emotions, you’ll find that they are better in group activities, are less likely to bully other students, and can maintain more positive relationships.
You are not on your own. You don’t need a psych degree to figure this out. Eldventir is an SEL platform that allows you to weave in skills-based lessons that will build effective social patterns and build personal confidence in students.
Group activities in the classroom can become more bearable because of having students respect one another. You can have middle school-aged students learn about empathy, anger management, responsible decision making, and positive relationships.
Eldventir offers a variety of resources for you to use in the classroom:
- Mental maps
- Drawing tools
- And more
The online educational platform is something that can be used in the classroom .You can, then, see progress analysis of your students to see how well they’re growing as a result of using social-emotional learning in the classroom.
Ultimately, implementing Eldventir as an SEL platform can be a game-changer so that you can take back your classroom and ensure that your students are learning and growing into well-balanced adults.
Bullying has been going on for years and years. Often, in movies, they portray a weak child being bullied by someone who is larger than them. And we laugh. However, there’s nothing funny about bullying, especially when it’s an aggressive display towards another child.
Why does bullying happen?
Before we can even think about eliminating bully behavior, we have to look at why that child is acting like a bully.
Attention. Attention is the number one reason why they choose to bully. It allows them to feel empowered. They see the bullying behavior from their parents or their older siblings, so they repeat the behavior at home.
Lack of empathy. Some kids are naturally more aggressive and dominating. However, it doesn’t mean that they will become bullies. Often, it is because they lack any kind of empathy. They see kids who are more submissive as weak and they don’t understand.
Most bullies bully because:
- They feel helpless in their ordinary lives.
- Have poor self-esteem and need to feel power.
- They don’t know how to socialize.
- They don’t know it’s wrong.
It’s easy to look at all of this and say, “Bullying is not the answer.” What is, however?
Social Emotional Learning Can Cut Down on Bullying
Many children lack social-emotional skills that help them to combat the need for a bully behavior. It builds a positive climate within the school and ensures that students grow into healthier and happier adults.
Bullying isn’t healthy for the bully or the kids who are being bullied. The effects can last well into adulthood to include anxiety and depression. Some reports state that at least 20 percent of children are being bullied, so it’s clear that the social-emotional learning components are missing from many classrooms.
Various classroom activities can be taught in order to promote empathy and more positive social skills. Many of these include showing students how they should act in certain situations. Group activities can even help, allowing students to learn how to work together and overcome differences in order to achieve a goal.
Empathy, emotional regulations, friendship building, and assertiveness need to be taught. If they’re not being taught at home, it’s up to the schools to teach these.
Eldventir offers an online SEL platform that has had numerous positive outcomes. Designed for middle school students, it’s filled with resources to make it easier to bring social-emotional learning into the classroom. As students learn how to build more positive relationships as well as establish empathy for their fellow students, bullying becomes a thing of the past.
Balance needs to be achieved in the classroom. Ultimately, as a teacher, you need to teach students about math, science, grammar, history, and more so that they are properly educated. However, it’s not just about cramming information at them because they also need to retain the information. Focusing on social engagement skills can help with retention while also ensuring that they are effectively engaged in their community now and later on in life.
The kids inside of the classroom sit next to one another. They’re going to be classmates for an entire year. Rather than letting them learn about each other intermittently through class reports and you calling their name, focus on relationship building. Use online or in-person chats so that you can ensure that interactions are more personalized. As you teach them how to build relationships in the classroom, they can find out how to do this in the real world, too.
Work in a Group
Group activities are an important part of middle school. It allows students to learn that there is no “I” in team. They need to work together in order to achieve a goal. By doing so, they learn how their classmates are different and how to overcome those differences in order to create the project.
Well-rounded individuals have a civic responsibility to strengthen the community that they live in. Most people don’t inherently have this skill – they learn it. You can incorporate service learning into the classroom to build this critical social engagement skill. Focus on community service so that students learn how to interact with their community in a new way, such as beach cleanup or building a home for the less fortunate.
Not all students are outgoing. The shy and quiet students are not going to feel as comfortable raising their hand to ask a question. As such, they may be limited in how they interact socially. Branch out and show them that there are other opportunities, especially in today’s media-driven world. Show how Twitter can be used to post questions in the community.
Learn from One Another
Students should be able to learn from one another, not just from you as the teacher and the textbooks that they are given. Introduce social reading activities, such as those from Eldventir, where students are assigned to read the same book. Use a social reading app where students can read, share, and exchange information that they have learned. It will also show how students interpret some of the text differently.
All sorts of skills can be introduced into the classroom without it taking away from what you’re teaching them. Think outside the box to shake up your lesson plans a little to focus on the social-emotional aspects that will mold your students into better adults. Using Eldventir is a great way to introduce social-emotional learning into the classroom with ease.
While you never want to admit it, there are likely students in your classroom that can be easily identified as “bad seeds.” They make poor decisions, they get angry easily, and they are bullies. If you don’t show them how to be empathetic and form positive relationships now, they’ll be ill-equipped to do so as adults.
There are plenty of challenges that you have to face through life. Starting in middle school is just the beginning. If the “bad seeds” are struggling now, think about how they’ll handle driving in traffic, working with co-workers on the job, and raising their own children.
Social emotional learning (SEL) is a concept that is entering more and more classrooms. It makes it easier to teach empathy, anger management, and responsible decision making.
Consider some scenarios to determine if your students are truly prepared for the challenges they’re going to face in life.
A child in your class is bullying students that are unlike them. They tease and they may even be getting physical. While the first instinct may be to send them to the principal’s office, the better idea is to look at why they’re doing it. Showing them how to form more positive relationships will ensure that they grow up to support others instead of tearing them down.
A student is upset. They’re crying or visibly upset about something. Take a look at what the other students are doing. If everyone is minding their own business, it’s a sign that the students don’t understand empathy very well. Bullying can be stopped faster when students are empathetic towards one another.
If you have ever seen a student go into a mini rage or temper tantrum because they didn’t get their way, they became frustrated, or someone did something they didn’t like around them, it may be a clear indication that they struggle with anger management. Unfortunately, learning to deal with anger isn’t inherent. Often, it is taught. If the student isn’t getting the education on how to deal with their anger at home, it can be beneficial to introduce it to them in the classroom.
There are countless scenarios that you can observe in the classroom. Virtually anything that you deem as “unacceptable behavior” can likely be corrected when you show them how to positively respond.
If you have students who are struggling, the best way to help them is to introduce SEL. Eldventir can provide you with an online educational platform that provides you with collaborative activities and a wide array of resources to teach students while being able to follow their progress.