Eanes ISD

Middle School (Grades 6-8)

Social Emotional Learning (SEL)

Featured Tip

Teaching Social Awareness and Empathy Today

Children model how they see adults act.  They are more inclined to do what we do instead of doing what we say.  This is especially true in terms of how we treat others and how we model empathy and compassion.  We believe that social awareness and empathy can be taught - that children can learn how to understand the feelings of others, even if they come from diverse backgrounds or traditions. To foster this skill in our children, we often have to block out a lot of the noise of the outside world and find opportunities to model and embrace empathy.  

Social awareness is among the five core competencies of Social Emotional Learning (SEL), something we have been teaching our students about for a number of years.  At Eanes ISD, this skill is the foundation upon everything else we teach our students. Social awareness is the district focus during the third nine weeks of each school year. Specifically, a healthy social awareness is about:

  • Taking others’ perspectives
  • Recognizing strengths in others
  • Demonstrating empathy and compassion
  • Showing concern for the feelings of others
  • Understanding and expressing gratitude
  • Identifying diverse social norms, including unjust ones
  • Recognizing situational demands and opportunities
  • Understanding the influences of organizations and systems on behaviors

The primary goal of the DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) initiative in Eanes ISD is to help build a school community of trust by encouraging an understanding of and appreciation of our differences.  We want our students to understand that we are all unique in our own way and that it is our differences that make us the remarkable people we are. By treating each other with understanding, respect, and kindness, we have the opportunity to enrich our own lives by learning about people who are different from us.  

What can each of us do to promote social awareness and empathy? While this is difficult during a pandemic when we may not be able to interact as much with each other in the broader community, some of us have more time than usual together as families.  Helping our children talk about and process what they are seeing and reading about in the news and on social media is an important part of their developing a healthy understanding of and compassion for others.  Helping them understand how their actions towards others may either contribute to someone feeling loved and accepted or make them feel marginalized and inferior.

Each of us can be a role model for a child, whether or not we have children of our own. In the words of Brene Brown, “First and foremost, we need to be the adults we want our children to be...we should model the kindness we want to see.”

Please check out these links with more ideas on how to teach your child to become more socially aware and empathetic. 

3 Strategies to Improve Social Awareness in Children

6 Great Ways to Foster Tolerance and Empathy in Your Children

All Tips

Children model how they see adults act. They are more inclined to do what we do instead of doing what we say.  This is especially true in terms of how we treat others and how we model empathy and compassion.  We believe that social awareness and empathy can...

The second nine weeks of the 2020-21 school year is upon us, and what a ride it’s been up until this point.  From the time we went into Remote Learning last March until now, parents, students, and Eanes ISD staff have had to roll with the punches. We were all required to reflect on our values and to build grit.  Reflection and resiliency are skills that we as parents and educators want to build within our students and ourselves. We want our children to be...

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One way to support your teen in growing into a successful adult is to teach responsible decision making.

Empathy is being able to understand and value someone else’s perspective and having compassion for others even when they are different from ourselves.

Social Emotional Learning (SEL) focus highlights self-awareness and self-management. Educating teens about the mindfulness research and the benefits of mindfulness is a way to support teens in developing their own mindful practice. Building autonomy, competence, and connection with our kids develops self-reliant, competent and resilient adults.​​​​​​​

One way to help middle school students learn social skills and relationship-building abilities is to talk about first impressions.

When we “model empathetic behavior” by talking through how we are interpreting and considering the perspective of others, we are helping our teens develop empathy skills.

Helping our teens learn healthy ways to deal with adversity and become resilient is part of our role and responsibility as parents.

Supporting teens in taking acceptable risks and experiencing the natural consequences of their choices allows them the opportunity to learn from their mistakes and errors of judgement.

In order to help your Chap practice better self-regulation skills and become more self-aware, "discuss ways to prioritize and sequence" electronic communication.

"The clearest message that we get from this 75-year study is this: Good relationships keep us happier and healthier."

Children learn self-management skills and resiliency by having the opportunity to think for themselves.


Recent Announcements

The Eanes ISD Counseling Services department has compiled a list of resources for families to utilize during this time. Students, and adults, may also notice an increase in their screen time. It is important to remember to take breaks and be physically active throughout the day.

The Eanes-Westlake Speaker Series highlights topics about issues including relationships, depression, study skill tips, internet safety, resiliency, etc. The podcast is available through iTunes, Spotify, or Anchor.

Social Emotional LEarning Competencies