How Can Educators Engage Parents in SEL?
As educators, we know why we teach a concept and how to deliver it to our students. We take time to explain things in class so our students are engaged in the learning process and are able to understand why it matters in the grand scheme of things. Often, parents don’t get the same explanations and can feel left in the dark. To fully engage parents in SEL, we need to provide them with the same explanation of the bigger picture and why the curriculum is important.
Shedding some light on the way we are teaching social-emotional learning (SEL) in our classrooms not only creates an open and transparent relationship between home and school, but also allows parents to continue the conversations at home. This reinforces student learning and engagement continuously. It also helps students apply concepts to situations outside the classroom. Here are 3 simple ways to engage parents in SEL curriculum so they can start using the concepts at home!
3 Strategies to Include Parents in the SEL Progress of Your Students
1.) Explain the ‘What, Why and How’ of your SEL program: Starting with explaining what SEL is and why it is important. Include some statistics and anecdotal evidence to support why this is an important use of time in your classroom. Explain the CASEL 5 Framework and how your SEL practices support and align in those 5 areas. Finally, make yourself available for any questions about your program to fully engage parents in SEL.
2.) Share, share, share: When lessons have the potential to move beyond the classroom, involve parents and families. Ask students to use parts of your lessons at home with their parents or siblings. Update parents in your weekly communication. Send home quick resources that parents can use with their students on their way to practices or while sitting at the dinner table. Make is easy for them to apply the concepts to their families so they can learn more about their own kids. We want our students to be as connected as possible to their families so they can create healthy relationships.
Here are some questions that you can pass along to parents as a fun way to get them involved:
20+ Activities To Connect With Your Students
3.) Engage: Encourage parents to focus on the social-emotional well-being of their students by checking in with them throughout the year. Send a quick email with a compliment about their child’s behavior or a shout out for crushing a goal. Keeping an open line of communication around positive things allows you to ask the hard questions when you have to. If you notice something concerning about a student, make a quick phone call. Parents appreciate when you are concerned for the well-being of their child.