Looking at the social, emotional and academic needs of your child

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teacherchild_morneaushepell_socialmediaTeachers are required to not only teach and report on academic achievement – they are also required to do the same regarding your child’s social and emotional intelligence. Teachers assess, evaluate and report on achievement of curriculum expectations and on the demonstration of learning skills and work habits. In order to do this, they also must teach and encourage students to develop healthy social and emotional intelligence in all curriculum strands and expectations.

Social and emotional intelligence

Developing social and emotional intelligence is critically important when considering the overall student achievement.

As a student moves through grades 1 – 12 they develop, then consolidate these skills. The development of these social and emotional skills is strengthened through the achievement of curriculum expectations. Teachers work to help students develop a positive sense of self, increase their capacity for using coping skills, develop and maintain healthy relationships, and use critical and creative thinking processes.

Students must learn how to use both emotional and cognitive intelligence at the same time within their learning environments. Students may be able to demonstrate these skills by making empathetic choices, engaging in creative problem solving, building a capacity for resilience and demonstrating leadership and integrity. Teachers are expected to work with their students to help them develop learning skills and work habits that are both achievable and measurable.

Questions to consider

As health professionals, we often ask the following questions to assess a child’s social and emotional skills in relation to their academic success:

  • How are their social relationships with their peers?
  • Do they have a consistent group of friends?
  • Are they showing empathy to friends and family?
  • Are they feeling positive about their experiences and relationships at school?
  • Do they approach social problems with creative or flexible thinking?
  • Are they able to complete homework with minimal stress and anxiety?
  • How well are they able to manage conflict with their peers?

If, when you consider these questions for your child, you have concerns, it may be time to reach out to your child’s school to explore these areas further. Starting a conversation with your school can help you to find ways to support your child’s emotional and social intelligence and development. Academic struggles and success can sometimes be the main focus in school, so it’s important to bring to light any successes or challenges your child may be having regarding social and emotional skills.

When children struggle with the development of social, emotional and/or academic work and it impacts their success at school and with their peers, it may also be helpful to reach out to professionals beyond the school to obtain additional support and information.

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