Sunday, February 24, 2013


Using my classroom and other classrooms as laboratories had put me into a deep thought. Among many thoughts I had in mind, I stopped to one skill that students used naturally: Social Skills.

What are Social Skills?
In brief, Social Skills are skills that we use to communicate - verbally or non-verbally - with other people. In this writing, I mostly will see skills used in classrooms that related with social skills in general.

Social Skills in Classrooms
I will use some skills depicted in classrooms such as accepting responsibility, cooperating and resolving conflict. To my point of view, these three skills are related with each other. Once again, using my classrooms and other classrooms as laboratories, I saw these three skills - included in Social Skills - were really needed and powerful.

Accepting responsibility
Some students need extra encouragement to accept responsibility in some extends. Lack of confidence, fear, underestimating themselves might be some reasons to see. Here are some examples that I have seen happening in classrooms.
Why should I carry this responsibility? Can you please choose someone else? These questions are mostly asked by students with low self-esteem - sometimes a bit of fear that they might not lead well as it has been asked. This kind of reaction is like a disease. It is truly contagious to other students within the group. If my friends can escape from that responsibility, why can't I?
Again, as teachers, we need to give motivational inputs. Some students feel more comfortable when there is assignment to do, it is completed with the how to do list. We need to give them a bit insight then the rest of what will happen, we let them to anticipate as the real life will do similarly.

It is a bit difficult and frustrated sometimes for some students to cooperate themselves in a group work. Some of them might have an idea of becoming passive members as their sign of good cooperation. It is something that teachers need to aware of. Students with that kind of attitude soon or later will take everything passively. When starting the learning process, teachers need to give clear expectation on what is accepted and not accepted as a cooperation. Being attentive as well as active in sharing materials or opinion are some real actions in making word cooperation comes true.

Resolving Conflict
This skill is really hard when nobody wants to lose. For many children, loosing an argument is not a good way to impress their buddies. In a group work, conflict happens easily. One child wants to be more recognized than others and vice versa. As teachers, we need to remind students that it is better to keep the situation healthy than to let things loosen and conflict comes. Small things mean a lot such as listening to others, taking turns, reacting positively to others' opinion, compromising opinions, connecting things. To make things run smoothly, as teachers we need to guide and train students on reacting in such conditions.

Those are the skills that students need to improve. Once again, different classrooms will have different point of view as I see these skills needed in classrooms I have observed.