Middle School Social and Emotional Learning At Home

This post is sponsored by The Allstate Foundation.  All opinions are my own.

Help your middle school students develop their social emotional skills of teamwork, empathy, communication and many more using the ideas and activities in this free guide from The Allstate Foundation!  #sponsored

This school year, I taught a social skills class for students with special needs. We focused on broad topics like self-awareness, self management, and more. Within those areas, students learned skills like teamwork, empathy, and communication. For example, we defined empathy as “showing others that you understand how they feel“. Many students do not instinctively know how to do this. As a result, they inadvertently upset others. When this happens, the struggling student typically does not understand why others are upset. This leads to feelings of anger or sadness that can carry over into many, if not all, other parts of their life and negatively impact their social lives as well as their academic lives.

As you can see, for these struggling students, these types of social emotional skills have to be directly taught through examples, step-by-step plans, and practice to avoid these kinds of negative results. However, once we were in a distance learning environment, it was challenging to actively practice the skills in “class” and even more challenging to fully trace the development of those skills with my students.

We met online, but it was so different than meeting in person at school. I tried to engage the students in conversations to determine how they were managing their emotions and offer encouragement. Then I tried to promote the interactions between the students in the class to help them with communication and maintaining their relationships through this online “class”.  It was the best I could do and it didn’t last more than an hour a week due to our school's policy to balance the many other online lesson students had to attend. Since it’s such a tough class to teach remotely, I have often wondered what I could possibly send home to their families to help them support their students with their social skills.

I was not having much luck finding anything suitable as most resources out there are for teachers or students and not families, but then I was made aware of the 'Happy, Successful Teens' Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Parent Guide from The Allstate Foundation. Not only does it provide practical ready to use ideas like ways to say things to encourage self management, questions to ask to get conversations going, and specific things to try to make problem-solving interesting, it’s FREE! Honestly, it’s almost like a summary of my class. So it’s perfect to send home to support my students at home and it’s especially timely now that the school year has ended to keep the learning going during the summer. You can get your own free copy by clicking here!

I am so happy to have this resource because social emotional skills are critical for student success and almost every aspect of life.  This guide helps me help my students even though I am at a distance and I think it will help my families feel more connected and able to support their students too.

This post was written as part of The Allstate Foundation and WeAreTeachers SEL Parent Guide campaign, and sponsored by The Allstate Foundation. All opinions are mine. The Allstate Foundation empowers young people – and those that guide and teach them – with social and emotional skills to build character and transform lives. Learn more at www.allstatefoundation.org .


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