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Promoting Social and Emotional Health in Preschool

By Gabriela Garza

December 20, 2019

Social Emotional Learning (SEL) is the process through which children and adults understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.

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At San Roberto, school counselors are primarily in charge of implementing the Social Emotional curriculum, which is based on American School Counselor Association (ASCA) standards, and also integrates other important programs such as Habits of Mind (HOM), Mexican Secretary of Education (SEP), and Skills for Success (S4S). 

In Early Childhood, counselors visit classrooms to promote positive interactions among children, providing them with opportunities to practice social-emotional skills with their classmates. During these classes, they play and do different activities that seek to recognize and identify emotions in themselves and others, work to be conscious of their feelings as well as understanding and accepting their emotions. The focus of this time with children also goes towards appreciating the characteristics that make them unique, value  family, learn the characteristics of being a good friend and focusing on positive problem solving strategies.

On the other hand, we share specific activities with teachers that they can apply with their students, consolidating previous topics.

 

Teacher’s role is an important component of this process because they have the opportunity to practice what is being taught to  their students by applying these different strategies in everyday situations. 

 

Early Childhood  teachers practice social- emotional activities as part of their routines. Some of the things that happen daily in classrooms is starting the day by greeting students with a particular movement. They practice deep breathing through the day with their kids, inviting children to use the Calming Zone inside the classroom, doing I love you rituals with them, establishing moments to  wish well to others and practicing mindfulness after playtime. In addition to this, they promote positive interaction among students, teaching children conflict resolution skills and encouraging them to be independent.

 

It is  important that as members of the ISR community we become  conscious of the multiple opportunities that we have to interact with kids and to model positive social emotional skills. 

Some examples of actions to display are positive relationships with people around us, listening to others with empathy, keeping our cool when we are frustrated, and apologizing when we make mistakes. We are fully aware that it will take time and lots of practice from our students to master these  skills but we will pursue with patience and empathy to help them put these skills in practice not only within the school but in their daily lives. 

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