The process of self-discovery that every teenager must go through can be quite abrupt for some. Unfortunately, most teenagers have the tendency to rebel against their families and educators. Consequently, they handle the changes that take place in their own lives without making use of essential life skills. Thankfully, teenage life skills are a clear priority for after-school programs, including The Village Method.
Perhaps we can all agree that one’s teenage years are the toughest, on both mental and emotional levels. Our youth must excel academically, discover who they are, and what they stand for in this divided world, all at once.
As a result of this overwhelming process, systemic racism in education can negatively impact their academic achievement levels. Thankfully, Social-Emotional Learning is all about teaching teenage life skills in a way that is culturally relevant and respectful.
In today’s article, let’s find out the 4 ways in which Social-Emotional Learning can improve the set of teenage life skills of our young scholars. Make sure to take some notes for later as we will be having an in-depth look at this fascinating topic!
#1: Teaching Teenage Life Skills Increases Engagement
According to the Respected: Perspectives of Youth on High School & Social and Emotional Learning report for CASEL, high school students from schools that advocate for strong teaching of Social-Emotional Learning say that their schools help them stay engaged and motivated. Furthermore, they are able to reach academic excellence much more easily in comparison to low Social-Emotional Learning schools.
This speaks volumes in regards to the effectiveness of teenage life skills. In turn, family engagement activities will become the norm in schools as well. As for after-school programs, they have been always pioneers as far as family engagement activities are concerned.
Furthermore, promoting healthy relationships between the parents and their children’s schools will further increase the demand for anti-racist teaching and effective Social-Emotional Learning.
#2: Social-Emotional Learning Promotes Anti-Racist Teaching
The ancient African proverb said it best ━ It takes a village to raise a child. However, how do we build strong, long-lasting villages in a world marked by systemic racism in education, inequality, and racial discrimination? When teenage life skills become an integral part of the curriculum, the children will have the courage to speak up and share their experiences.
The race conversation within the classroom is an act of assertiveness. It teaches our children that their experiences are valid and that racism is a very real thing. Anti-racist educators will have the opportunity to identify their students’ character strengths and empower them. As a result, they will enable the young scholars to further explore their positive traits.
Positive psychology is a well-researched topic and has been shown to increase well-being while preventing depression. It’s safe to say that great teenage life skills are associated with an improvement in mental health.
#3: Teenage Life Skills Pave the Way to Better Mental Health
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Because the brain’s decision-making center is the prefrontal cortex and considering the fact that it doesn’t fully develop until one’s mid-20s, it’s safe to say that teenagers are experiencing conflicting emotions for a very valid reason. Their temperamental and stubborn personalities have everything to do with their brains maturing.
Now, imagine the weight of going through your teenage years becoming exacerbated by the weight of systemic racism in education. With so many Black students in crisis due to their mental health issues, it’s important to teach them exactly how to navigate the stormy weather of their minds during their K-12 years.
Additionally, all students should be taught self-awareness so as to actively become anti-racist themselves. That way, our young scholars’ personal and professional lives won’t be as affected further down the line.
#4: Teenage Life Skills Create a Sense of Purpose
Last, but certainly not least, developing a solid sense of self-awareness can inspire our teens to find their sense of purpose in this world. As overwhelming as it is, this world needs youthful, fresh minds to overcome its centuries-old obstacles. Systemic racism in education can be defeated only by empowering today’s youth.
Responsible decision-making and relationship skills will motivate teenagers to come together alongside their peers, parents, and anti-racist educators. Together, we can create a better, more equitable educational system. It all starts with Social-Emotional Learning. After-school programs are here to balance the scales and offer all teenage scholars a chance to follow their purpose and watch it come to fruition.
Learn the Best Teenage Life Skills With Us!
We are experts at building villages of happy, healthy, and culturally empowered children! Our belief is that the African way of living and learning resonates best with our young scholars. Therefore, we have created The Village Method! We focus on youth development, family engagement activities, and community outreach programming, among many other things.
You too can help us bring Social-Emotional Learning, particularly teenage life skills, into the lives of our children! Anti-racist educators who are passionate about anti-racist teaching do exist, contrary to popular belief! Together, we can become stronger! Together, we can create an equitable, fair world for our youth! Get involved now!