The Importance of Social-Emotional Skills in School

Author: Brittany Roa
Education Thought Leader

This past year, you may have found yourself among the many that are asking, What will schools of the future look like?

It is clear that after the COVID-19 pandemic, schooling will have forever changed. We are realizing as a society that in-person schooling isn’t as necessary as before. 

Even before COVID started, more kids and parents were electing homeschool options. Technology and the opportunities it brings has transformed the world. There is no doubt that the M-F 9-5 job and 8-3 school has shifted as more people are empowered to take their own path towards entrepreneurship and education.

There is no longer the need for studying certain topics in the same way since information has never been more easily at our fingertips, literally. When the world changes around us, we must learn how to adapt to it. Given this growth, we are provided with an opportunity to shape the school system into one that will properly educate future generations for the new world.

We can ask ourselves, How can we make sure our education system is also a system of empowerment?

Social-emotional skills as a core subject

Since less students are opting to go to college because of what they can learn on the internet–YouTube provides free schooling on a plethora of subjects–there appears to be a calling for a different kind of education.

Since information is more accessible and more people are spending time on their electronic devices than face-to-face, interpersonal skills are becoming more and more needed. Making social-emotional training a core subject will give adolescents useful skills they can carry with them the rest of their lives. 

Findings have shown that 1 in 54 children in the US is diagnosed with autism. While some people say the rise in these numbers is mainly due to better testing, a claim could be made that more children are having less in-person interactions due to technology. There is also a fear of children growing up in a world of masks, causing them to lose the ability to discern facial expressions. 

With social-emotional training being adopted as part of the main curriculum, children will grow up being educated on how to recognize facial expressions as well as how to deal with and regulate their own challenging emotions, hopefully lowering the increasing statistics of children with depression and mental illness

Additionally, more emphasis placed on athletics and sports will benefit children in this shifting world. Since we have become a more sedentary society with a high percentage of obesity, it’s crucial to adopt physical education as a core subject. Encouraging adolescents to exercise through sports will not only keep them physically and emotionally healthy from the movement, but also from learning how to work as a team and cooperate with their peers.

As certain negative aspects of humanity are growing, such as mental illness and obesity, there is an opportunity to adjust general education to fit the needs of our ever-changing society.

Preparing young entrepreneurs to be good adults

Children have access to more information than any generation prior. There is no longer a need to memorize dates or algorithms because knowledge has never been more accessible. I’ve witnessed a teenager solve math homework equations by asking Siri. But I’ve also witnessed the same teenager use her skills of art and graphic design to start a business.

Young people are learning how to do amazing feats at such young ages. There has never before been a generation of young entrepreneurs like we’re seeing these days.

Preteens are starting their own companies and marketing themselves through social media, creating viable careers before they’ve even hit puberty. Assumedly, their motivation to continue schooling when they’ve already achieved success in business would be low. 

Do they really need good grades to get into business school if they already have a successful source of income? Not necessarily. Could they use interpersonal and social-emotional skills to ensure that if they scale their business they are sympathetic to their employees? Absolutely.

Altering schooling to be more well-rounded (mentally, physically, spiritually, emotionally) will help mold children to be well-rounded adults. By taking a more holistic approach to education, students will graduate high school with more maturity, which will be especially helpful if they intend to pass on college.

Final thought

What students are trained in during their formative years will be a huge determinant for their success in the future. The world has changed, which has given educators the opportunity to mold the education system to match the demands of the new future. 

As teachers, we can create a school of the future that empowers and equips all students for the skills and maturity they need to succeed in life after school.


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To learn more about Foqas and how we support teachers: visit www.foqas.org


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