5 Social Emotional Learning Strategies in PE [Interactive]

Episode Transcript:

Hello everyone. I am your host Derek Severson and today on the PE Express podcast, I’m going to share how you can check in with your students with a few easy social emotional learning strategies you can immediately incorporate into your PE program.

Social emotional learning is a hot topic in schools today. Many districts including mine, are emphasizing modeling social emotional behaviors. Social emotional learning has always been prevalent in physical education, interacting with others through cooperative, competitive, experiential and free play provide the natural setting in our PE classroom to lay the foundation for social emotional learning. The PE environment is notorious for promoting social emotional behaviors like self awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision making. Ultimately, we want our students to truly learn and value these behaviors on a daily basis. But in order to do this, we need our youth to value these skills daily.

Physical education supports opportunity for social emotional learning, so it’s important for teachers to introduce teach, model and reinforce those behaviors because at the end of the day, what we want from our students is the ability to model and eventually adopt positive social emotional behaviors and values as their own. Here’s five social emotional practices you can immediately implement within your classroom on a daily basis.

1. Start at the Door

Number one, start at the door. Attempt to greet students every day as they enter your classroom.

2. Stay Composed

Number two, stay composed. Treat all disruptive or inappropriate behaviors with a nonjudgmental approach. As much as it can bug you, keep that poker face when dealing with any unwanted behaviors. An easy way to think about this, address positive behaviors publicly and negative behaviors privately.

3. Be Intentional with Positive and Specific Feedback

Number three, be intentional with positive specific feedback. All reinforced behaviors repeat themselves. Thus it’s vitally important to provide higher rates of positive feedback over negative.

4. Maximize opportunities for Peer to Peer Interactions

Number four, maximize opportunities for peer to peer interactions. Small group cooperative activities and skill development is a great time where students can socialize and act as their partner’s coach offering suggestions and providing positive reinforcement.

5. Paint a Clear Picture for Students

The last daily practice you can implement into your program, paint a clear picture for your students. Help students understand what social emotional behaviors look, feel and sound like. When observing positive social emotional behaviors acknowledge the individual student or students in front of their peers. Explain what you saw and give that positive feedback.

Incorporating social emotional learning on a daily basis has many positive outcomes for students. My challenge for you is to reflect on your practice in the classroom and identify new ways you can promote social emotional learning in the classroom.

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