TAILORED LEARNING

Social Emotional Learning

A program for social-emotional learning is now understood to be of paramount importance within any learning environment. Sappo School has a well-designed program that keeps up with the latest research on learning, emotion, and socialization. Relationships between students, between teachers, and between student and teacher are seen as both a primary source of education and the focus of education itself. As a source, relationships are an excellent mirror in which to see ourselves, since we learn about self by seeing how others respond to us. As the focus of education, much has been studied on the subject of learning and acceptance within the learning community, providing educators with evidence of a strong correlation.

Areas of social-emotional learning addressed include:

  • Community (interpersonal): Children have the need to feel connected to those who teach them and to achieve communion with them. Life then becomes meaningful and purposeful in direct relation to a strong sense of community.
  • Acceptance: Children need to feel valued by the teacher. Targeted bonding is developed, without which learning cannot happen effectively and consistently. (see Maslow’s Hierarch of Learning)
  • Positive Regard: Children have an intrinsic need to feel good about themselves and cannot be exposed to expressions of cynicism and disdain that would interrupt and effectively corrupt this positivity. Over criticism can destroy the belief that “I” lead a meaningful existence with purposeful resolve.
  • Self-awareness (intrapersonal): Sappo places emphasis on self-knowledge or, in other words, the individual’s attitudinal dispositions in relationship to the group (the family, the class, the school, the community, the world). The student, in reflection, needs to address these poignant questions about self: “What drives me?” “What is my perspective in life?” “How does the world affect me?” “How do I affect others?”

An important part of our Social-Emotional Learning Program is the Peer Circle, which helps students to identify and develop healthy societal roles. Students strengthen interpersonal skills while exploring intrapersonal viewpoints and feelings. Although the training is done with a healthcare professional, Sappo Practitioners (teachers) use Peer Circle when problems or challenges arise in the classroom. These skills become so natural in time, that students apply these to life outside of school, leading to a smooth and more comfortable conversation style. Such skills can do much to prevent misunderstandings, alienation, and even bullying, adding peace to any environment.

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