Social wellbeing strategies
Social wellbeing includes the extent to which we experience positive relationships and connectedness to others. It is important for pro-social behaviour and our empathy towards others.
Promoting positive relationships and connectedness
Teacher-student connections and provision of teacher support and understanding have a strong impact on students' feelings of belonging. Belonging is associated with increased engagement with learning and education (CESE, 2015). Strategies include:
- greeting the students by name as they enter the classroom
- checking in with individual students
- showing an interest in the students’ lives outside the classroom
- negotiating classroom rules with the students for creating a safe learning environment
- encouraging and valuing student voice in classroom decisions.
- providing choice whenever possible to be responsive to students’ interests, abilities and preferences.
- communicating positive expectations for learning and behaviour.
- positively reinforcing students verbally
- speaking to students privately about any problem behaviour. Make your motivation explicit e.g. 'I am choosing to speak with you privately so that I don’t embarrass you in front of your peers.'
Promoting pro-social behaviour
- Foster pro-social behaviour by engaging students in helping activities such as peer tutoring, classroom tasks, and teacher assistance
- Model respectful behaviour and language towards students and staff
- Use classroom activities and lessons to explore and discuss empathy, personal strengths, fairness, kindness, and social responsibility
- Use a variety of teaching methods such as discussion questions, extra reading and group projects to foster critical and reflective thinking, problem-solving skills, and the capacity to work effectively with others
- Teaching and reinforcing positive social skills such as self-awareness, social awareness, responsibility and decision making.
- Example of self-awareness – show you understand. For example, 'I can understand why you would feel angry. Let’s think this through.'
- Example of social awareness – encourage perspective taking, 'Bob didn’t realise that was important. I don’t think he did it on purpose – do you?'