Humans are known for their emotions and their abilities to express their feelings. Positive social behaviors are considered to be the most effective way of dealing with other people as it involves empathy- a feeling that is intended to help others in whatever means possible. The term pro-social was introduced in the 1970’s as an antonym for the term- antisocial (a feeling of disconnect from the society). International boarding school promote pro-social behavior which eventually leads into a positive and a healthy learning environment for the kids.
Imagine you’re in a class and one of your students is not feeling good and is unwilling to comply with the class session, but another classmate understands this distress and then helps in comforting the child. What does this tell you about the second child? That child was empathetic towards his classmates and sprung to comfort the person in distress. This is one scenario where the importance of promoting positive social behavior in the classroom is understood. There could be several other situations where, as a teacher, you would agree that it is crucial that apart from the academics and extra-curricular activities, it is a teacher’s responsibility to develop good social behaviors in their students. Pro-social behaviors stem from early childhood and teenage when the adults around them teach them the acts of sharing and kindness. What are the ways in which you can promote/practice positive social behavior in the classroom?
Positive social behaviour encourages acts of kindness
Yes, children from a very early age are taught to be good and kind to others regardless of their age and their relationship with them. When in school, children often reflect their acts of sharing or kindness in their natural behavior like when they are having lunch or helping someone in doing their homework. When good behavior is appreciated, it has a ripple effect on the child’s personality and his/her positive social behavior. Appreciation, authentic praise and compliments boost the confidence and elevate a general sense of happiness in them. Happy students are more likely to perform well in their school.
Gratitude for everything and everyone
There are so many things in this world that are beautiful and positively touch our lives. It is true that young children place high regards for their teachers, and it is this very emotion that makes the teachers responsible for thanking their students and making them understand the importance of expressing gratitude. Gratitude should be expressed in public because again, it elevates happy thoughts in the students. You can either ask the students to maintain a journal or place a bulletin board where the students and the teachers can publicly stick notes of gratitude which are on display for everyone, sending a positive vibe across the hall for the doer and the receiver.
A board for pictures and memories
How exactly do you build empathy in your students? You can do this by putting up pictures on a board for them to revisit their acts of empathy. Encouraging them to pen down their memories of joy they felt when they helped someone would take them to their happy place and enhance their understanding. Putting up pictures of such acts would create a positive social impact when they have a visual reminder of their feelings of joy, kindness, memories and aspirations. Think of this as a re-bonding activity for the students who might have gone off the track personally or in their studies. Such reminders will give a jump start to their learning process.
Children need to feel cherished, sheltered and secured to participate in pro-social conduct inside and outside school. As a teacher or a parent or a guardian, you should attempt to make one on one emotional association with kids. In case you are a teacher and big student strength in your class, this can appear to be a test for you, but you can deal with this by small gestures for your kids like an exceptional welcome at their entry or before commencing the session, an embrace, high five, or a firm handshake by the day’s end. Utilize the language of sympathy in the classroom routine. Since a student must figure out how to cherish oneself before building up the ability to act or express empathy towards others, teach them to show self-sympathy. Hurt people hurt others. Help the children to challenge their negative self-talk or thoughts and to disregard them as soon as they pop up. Consistently, keep a check on and tune in to every students’ lives outside the school as well.
Positive social activities can be instructed through unequivocal activities from an ethical and responsible tutor. Teach them sympathy first, show self-empathy, model kind acts, encourage customary social collaborations, cultivate social relationships, and celebrate pro-social acts.