Reinforcing school lessons at home

I talk to a lot of business leaders and over and over again I hear from CEOs that they want to hire workers who can adapt and collaborate in our fast-moving global economy.

Schools play an important role in teaching kids how to work with others and how to navigate a whole range of emotions.

Have you ever stopped to wonder how we do it?

This Saturday, at our annual San Francisco Unified School District Family Empowerment Conference, school social worker Melissa Oliva-Sullivan will be sharing with parents how schools teach social and emotional learning and ways they can reinforce these lessons at home.

This is one of many workshops for parents to learn more about what goes on in our schools.

If you’re a district family member, we hope you’ll join us. But in case you can’t make it, I’ll give you a quick summary here.

Social and emotional learning is the process of learning and applying the knowledge, attitudes and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships and make responsible decisions.

We teach this in a multitude of ways. With young children, we play games, such as recognizing emotions on other people’s faces. In all of our schools, when students misbehave, we ask them to think deeply about what they’ve done and how to repair relationships.

When students work together on project teams, they learn to collaborate, communicate, and resolve conflicts. Cooperative learning and character development supports the social and emotional development of students and prepares them for success in the modern workplace.

When you talk to people in companies, as I often do, they’ll be honest with you. They don’t just want smart kids with good technical skills — these kids also need to know how to get along with their team members and relate well to customers.

But don’t just take my word for it. Melissa Oliva-Sullivan will be talking about this and other important work at this Saturday’s Family Empowerment Conference.

Richard Carranza is the superintendent of the San Francisco Unified School District.

IF YOU GO:

SFUSD Family Empowerment Conference

When: Saturday, Oct. 17, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Where: Martin Luther King Middle School, 350 Girard St., San Francisco

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