Community Building Sessions™
Each school year brings the challenges of new social relationships, school practices and routines, and feelings of anonymity and alienation to many students. Students may be inadequately prepared for a new school where there are more challenging materials and academic pressure from standardized testing. Instead of a fail-safe system of support, students may find there are only one or two teachers who make a strong connection with them.
SEL Community Building Sessions™ are designed to:
- Develop a positive community where students feel a sense of belonging, are significant members of the group and have fun.
- Teach and reinforce relationship-building skills.
- Promote social interest through sharing, listening, inclusion, participation, and dialogue.
- Model and practice social skills such as cooperation, assertion, responsibility, empathy, and self-control.
- Merge social, emotional, and intellectual learning.
- Model and practice problem-solving and goal-setting.
- Promote effective decision-making.
An SEL Community Building Session™ has the following components:
- Breathing (for focus)
- Greeting (learn each other’s names)
- Sharing/Compliments (promote positive communication among students)
- Group Activity (build relationship skills)
- News (optional time to share important information)
- Transition breathing (to assist in moving to next activity)
SEL Community Building Sessions™ are a universal method for building positive school community and should be used throughout the school year with the entire grade level populations.
The anticipated results of SEL Community Building Sessions™:
- Improved connection to peers, teachers, and school.
- Improved mental wellness, social and emotional competence, behavior, and academic engagement.
SEL Community Building Sessions™ also address the typical problems of childhood adolescence that are challenges to staying on track for school and life success:
- Potentially less parental supervision.
- Less positive relationships with their parents.
- Unmet need for supportive adults outside of the family.
- Increased peer pressure.
- Social pressure to act with a higher level of maturity and competence that may be possible.
- Physical and/or mental health concerns.