Self-regulation is a skill that takes a long time to learn and may take a lifetime, in truth, to really master. We can get better at it with practice, and our students’ social, emotional, and character development requires that we provide routine opportunities in classrooms and schools for them to work on this skill.
Developing self-regulation as a skill is for everyone, not just those who are experiencing difficulty in some area of their life. The concept here is one of continuous improvement. Self-regulation means identifying and taking steps to help one get better at things that are important for that person’s individual development. Everyone, at all ages, no matter their degree of accomplishment or shortcoming, can participate in an improvement process.
In helping students learn to self-regulate, consider following these five steps, which are to be repeated in an ongoing cycle for continued growth and improvement.
While improvement plans can be made in any area, I suggest focusing on study skills, social and emotional competency, physical health, or citizenship. See the full article in Edutopia for details on how to foster improvement in these four areas.
Excerpted from “Helping Students Develop Self-Regulation” by Maurice J. Elias, a professor in the Psychology Department at Rutgers University, and the director of the Rutgers Social-Emotional Learning Lab.