Students Who Benefit from Some Extra Support:
Social and emotional skills are a very valuable and diverse range of skills and abilities, and continue to develop throughout the lifespan. It is rare for any individual to excel in all areas of social and emotional skills, and even for adults, we can typically identify one or more social and emotional skills that could be improved. Typically, students will also demonstrate some social and emotional strengths and some social and emotional skill deficits. When teachers note a social or emotional skill weakness in a student, they work to explicitly promote and monitor development in that skill with the student. At times, these social or emotional weaknesses considerably impact a student’s ability to be successful in their classroom and with their peers, and for these students, additional support in the area of social or emotional becomes necessary.
There are also times when a student demonstrates developmentally-appropriate social and emotional skills and abilities, but they are put into a situation that overly taxes their current skill set. This may occur in situations such as academic struggles or learning difficulties; extended conflict with a peer; being exposed to bullying behavior; relocation or transition to a new school; diagnosis of a disorder or medical condition; extensive illness or injury; family conflict, separation, or divorce; death of a family member or friend; or other traumatic event. In these situations, it is also appropriate for students to receive additional support in the area of social/emotional to support the student during and after the impactful extenuating circumstances that the student has been exposed to.
At Assumption-St. Bridget School, we typically use one or more of the following options to provide opportunities for students to have access to additional support in social/emotional development:
- Completion of individual Goal Books, where students are receiving daily feedback from teachers on specific social or emotional skills;
- Completion of individual Recess Journals, where students are taking time to complete a daily journal at school in regards to recess play;
- Individual or small-group meetings with our School Counselor;
- Peer facilitation with our School Counselor;
- Check-In/Check Out (CICO) Program; and
- Reinventing Achievement & Development (RAD) Program.
When a particular class appears to be struggling as a group in some social or emotional skill, we will also often implement additional social/emotional curriculum in that particular class (i.e. a stress management unit), and/or hold a series of gender-specific lunches, where the entire grade is split into girl and boy lunch groups. This allows staff to provide instruction and support that is targeted to a specific need at a specific age. These interventions are most often managed by a collaborative effort between teachers and the Student Success Team members.
Students Who Benefit from Some Extra Enrichment:
For students who are currently demonstrating solid social and emotional skills, this area will still need to be nurtured and promoted given the various social and emotional milestones and challenges that occur for each age range of students. For that reason, these socially and emotionally successful students will continue to benefit from the continuous instruction and promotion of these skills in the classroom. In addition, teachers and parents may use the following strategies to promote enrichment in social and emotional development for these students:
- Additional responsibilities at school (i.e. classroom jobs) and home (i.e. chores);
- Extracurriculars (i.e. clubs, sports, arts);
- Participation in band or choir;
- Plenty of opportunities for free play with a variety of sensory materials;
- Encourage creative storytelling as a family; and
- Exposure to new groups of students through non-ASB clubs, programs, and teams.
These new experiences have the potential to challenge the social and emotional skills of a student in a new and different way, and serve students in enriching their application of skills to new and complex situations.