Social Emotional Learning
Upon graduation, students have not only mastered subject matter like mathematics and grammar, but also in a range of social and emotional competencies. These encompass cooperation, assertiveness, responsibility, empathy, and self-control. Alongside these, they demonstrate a strong grasp of academic competencies, including academic mindset, perseverance, learning strategies, and positive academic behaviors.
Social and emotional learning teaches students to understand themselves and others, to manage their emotions productively, to empathize with others, to forge healthy relationships, to work toward and achieve goals, to make responsible decisions, and to develop resilience, confidence, and well-being. Research shows that SEL not only improves achievement by an average of 11 percentile points, but it also increases prosocial behaviors (such as kindness, sharing, and empathy), improves student attitudes toward school, and reduces depression and stress among students.
In Lower School, teachers are trained in Responsive Classroom and begin each day with a morning meeting. The morning meeting is a blend of predictable routines and fresh, new activities. First, the students read a morning message written to them by their teacher. The morning message outlines the day’s events, setting clear expectations for the students about the plan for the day. The message may also include a preview of concepts to be taught or a question for students to ponder. Then, the students take turns greeting each other in a creative and fun way.
Saint Andrew’s Middle School Advisors are trained in Developmental Designs, an instructional approach intended to make social and emotional learning equitable and accessible for every student. It prioritizes routine, leadership, and empathy, as well as speaking and listening skills. Advisory occurs in the morning, which allows middle schoolers to transition from life at home into their academic day. Before ‘deep learning’ can happen, students need to settle into the routine and expectations of their school environment.
In both religion class and during library time, students often take time for mindfulness. Students take a few minutes to slow down, close their eyes, focus on their breathing, and realign themselves physically and mentally. Mindfulness education has shown itself to improve attention, emotional regulation, working memory, academic performance, prosocial behavior, and self-compassion, while reducing stress, anxiety, and fatigue.
At Saint Andrew's we believe who you are is as important as what you know, so we ensure that time to develop the essential skills for healthy living are incorporated into each school day.