Okay, if you’re here, then you may have some students who need help with self-management skills. I know it can be very overwhelming when some kiddos just don’t have the ability to control their own emotions in the school setting. It results in arguments, tattling, negative behavior, and friction in the classroom. There is only so much educators can do in such little time, but just know… YOU’VE GOT THIS!
If you’re looking for ways to implement these social-emotional skills in your classroom, there are resources available to make this easier on you. However, I am going to talk about the ‘how’ of teaching character education like this.
Where to Start
First, get your lessons together. These lessons don’t have to take a long amount of time or take up parts of your subject teaching. However, setting apart 5-15 minutes each day can make a huge difference! You can set aside mornings for small intentional lessons that bring awareness to each skill you are teaching.
Make sure you’ve set aside enough time to reach each point you need to make. I suggest taking it one week at a time. Each week can be a new social-emotional skill. You can be as flexible as you need to be with spreading out the lesson over 5 days and taking time to let your students soak in all the information each morning.
Try to really focus on the situations that arise in your classroom and take the time to use real-life examples as a teachable moment. If you are working on ‘Interrupting’ skills and a student continues to interrupt throughout the day, you can use those moments to gently sneak in a reference to points you have covered during the SEL lesson that morning. Consciously looking for teachable moments students can relate to really helps to push them to use those skills in the real-life situation.
You can even create a situation as an example during some free time. If you are focusing on skills that require patience, then you can take extra time to do a task and see their reaction. For example, I would walk extra slow with my class in the hallway on the way back from recess. I chose this time because they are still winding down from the hype of the playground and they could use the break to catch their breath. I had multiple students get frustrated or ask why I was going so slow. This created the opportunity for me to talk about patience. There is no reason to rush in the hallway, we have time to get to the classroom, another class is at the water fountains and we have to wait on them anyway, etc. You can use moments like these to get their attention without creating an entire extra formal lesson in the day.
Continue these lessons daily and weekly. Once you get started they become routine anyway! By the end of the week, you will see new skills forming. By the end of the year, you will see growth beyond what you hoped for! Then these students will have mastered the skills that really help them as a person for years to come.
Refer back to certain lessons they may need a refresher on when situations arise. This will happen, they are still kids and they are still learning. They may still get overly angry every now and then or have issues sharing. However, they will then have the tools to overcome those emotions and self-manage much quicker than before they were taught how to cope with these emotions.
Get the Resources You Need
Self-Management is a group of skills rolled into one. It means to regulate their own emotions, behavior, and thoughts in a given situation. Meaning they will have to learn how to manage stress, impulse control, and self-discipline. This is a lot to learn for little minds, but definitely not impossible. It is best to be introduced to these skills at a young age so over time they can master them to the best of their abilities. This requires being actively taught these character-building mechanisms.
So to make sure you are teaching these social-emotional lessons effectively, choose the right units for you. For self-management specifically, this collection of lessons will give you everything needed to teach these skills in your classroom. A complete lesson plan from start to finish is included to help you plan your lessons for the week. They are 15-minute mini-lessons that include interactive work, specific character education books, a parent letter for home inclusion, and more.
Social-Emotional Learning is so valuable in the classroom and can result in amazing classroom dynamics and community. If you are looking for solutions to better manners, self-discipline, and coping with emotions, then start these SEL lessons today! It is never too late to begin this character education journey!
Find more resources for SEL lessons and bundles here!