Cultivating social awareness in students in after school programs is an important part of the job.
According to the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL), Social Awareness is the ability to understand the perspectives of and empathize with others, including those from diverse backgrounds, cultures, & contexts.
After school programs can often be a melting pot of students from different classes, grades, and backgrounds all coming together under a common interest. No matter the activity, instructors weave fun, learning and help students strengthen social skills that will accompany them into adulthood. Naturally, friction among students may arise in any after school club due to misunderstandings and it takes intentional work by the instructor to flip it into a teachable moment.
Here's an example of what came up in one of our after school clubs that exemplifies Social Awareness in action:
"After some initial tension between students in our yoga and games club, one student wrote this as a 'daily mindfulness goal.' He gave tiny paper gifts and drawings to the other students and broke the ice!" - Zoey Hart, Leadership Trainer
"Try little kindness".
The act of one student who had a strong sense of social awareness completely shifted the energy of the club.
Do you see where they:
Demonstrated empathy and compassion
Showed concern for the feelings of others
Students will be better able to navigate the world if they can understand the perspectives of others.
Learn more about our after school program by clicking below.