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Back to School: How to Start Our Journey?


Those who are still waiting for the first day of school are so anxious, whereas those who have been back to school are in banana boats, "rollercoastering" up and down. To be well prepared for this school year with all kinds of unexpected news and uncertain learning models, let's start from getting our emotions ready for our SEL journey.

One of the competencies in Social Emotional Learning (SEL) is self-awareness, basically meaning knowing about yourself. Do you know how we feel at all times? Do you know why you act in a certain way? Do you know how to deal with your negative emotions? Here are some tips for you and whoever you need to guide or coach in your life.


Identify and Deal With Emotions

Some activities/discussions you could do in a classroom or at home could be:

  • Have you ever feel nervous about anything? Talk about it and think of ways to calm yourself down.

  • Have you ever had something you were excited about canceled? If so, talk about how you feel. If not, can you imagine how it might feel? How did you or will you deal with it?

  • With soothing music, close your eyes. Think about something happened earlier that didn't make you feel comfortable. Probably it's something that you want to keep to yourself. You don't want to share it. You might feel embarrassed, or shy, or humiliated about it. Don't worry. In your mind, it is your own world. How could you possibly avoid letting it happen again? How did you deal with the situation? Did you work out a good way? Is there a better way?

Accurate Self-Perception


This section is different from the previous one because this section focuses on behavior rather than emotions. Some activities/discussions you could do in a classroom or at home could be:

I threw a tantrum at _____ because...

  • I could not fall sleep that night because…

  • My hands are sweating because...

Of course our behavior is related to emotions, and if we understand why we would act in a certain way, we are on our way to control our emotions better.



Self-Confidence and Self-Efficacy

If you are a topnotch skater, do you believe in yourself that you can win a race? If you say yes, this is called high self-confidence.

If you are a first-time learner skater, and you seem to struggle the first time you skate, do you believe in yourself that you can win a race? If you say yes. this is called high self-efficacy.

No matter what, always believe in yourself because it works in a virtuous cycle. When you believe you can do it, there's a higher possibility that you can succeed. Then this successful experience brings you more confidence and you can reach higher self-efficacy...

A very easy thing to build self-confidence and self-efficacy is: to develop a hobby. Choose something that you like to do and spend time on. Show some persistency with logs. From Day 1-Day 100, see how you progress. When you see your growth on Day 100, your confidence and efficacy will lead you to Day 1000.


If you read through here, you pretty much understand how 20% of Social Emotional Learning works. Of course, there are a lot more on the journey. Be prepared, and believe in yourself.

I can do it!

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