The Banyan School’s social skills program is an integral part of our students’ day. We know that how children relate to peers and teachers is as critical as how they read, write, and compute. Therefore, at Banyan School, we teach children the skills necessary to get along with others in a social-learning environment: conflict resolution, social-problem-solving, emotional and behavioral self-regulation, empathy, stress management, and sportsmanship. This is done through social groups and incorporated into fun activities.
Not only does every student receive formalized social skills instruction weekly, but we have the ability to create a social skills lesson out of most situations that arise. Our social skills lessons do not come from a book–rather, we use the material that is truly “alive” in the classroom, at lunch, and during recess to bring real life lessons to naturally occurring challenges. We infuse social skills throughout the day through collaboration between the school psychologist, speech pathologists, and occupational therapists. This creates a holistic plan for each child.
If a child is feeling challenged by a social problem, we have staff who are able to support the process of resolution, while also encouraging emotional expression and thoughtful awareness. This way, the child leaves the incident with a sense of self-efficacy and empowerment as they witness the problem’s resolution. The faculty receives training on how to implement these strategies within the classroom and throughout the day.
Often, our students have experienced a sense of anxiety about school work, difficulty initiating relationships, low self-confidence, feeling bullied and difficulty in effective communication. When a new student comes to visit, they have a sense of relief that they are surrounded by people who understand and empathize with them. The staff at Banyan School listen, care, teach, and guide our students to have more fulfilling social experiences.