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September 6, 2022

How Online Tutoring Supports Social-Emotional Learning (SEL)

When we think of online tutoring, math and reading are usually the first things that come to mind. Yet, in order to learn these fundamental skills that help lay the groundwork for more advanced subjects, we need to teach our children about Social-Emotional Learning (SEL).

SEL involves developing skills, such as responsible decision-making, social awareness, self-awareness, relationship skills, and self-management, to help pave the way for a more successful life in and out of school.

Yet, how do you teach your students this when your teachers are already struggling to find the time and resources to cover the academic subjects students must learn to pass the test? There aren't enough hours in the day to cover all the essentials, and it can be very frustrating to lay something else on your teacher's plate.

Through online tutoring support, Pear Deck Tutor (formerly TutorMe) can help support your educators by providing them with a vital resource that enables enriching SEL teaching opportunities. Read on to find out how online tutoring helps students develop essential SEL skills.

Differentiated learning provides a positive student experience

Some students struggle to keep up in the classroom because there is one teacher working with a large group of students. In fact, some classes may have as many as 30 students, making it far too plausible for them to get lost in the crowd.

This makes it difficult on both the students who aren't getting the level of attention they need, as well as the teachers who are overwhelmed dealing with behaviors, focusing on small groups, handling the vast amount of paperwork, attending training sessions, and trying to find time for themselves.

Pear Deck Tutor helps remedy this predicament because it's a 1:1 environment, where a single tutor works with a single student for the entire session. This helps the tutor learn more about the student's specific needs and enables them to create a more tailored approach, as opposed to the "one-size-fits-all" method often used in traditional classrooms.

As the tutor and student continue to work together, they develop a strong rapport with each other, creating a positive learning environment. This helps foster the ideal setting for teaching students about SEL, which will benefit the student long after the tutoring session has ended.

Specific feedback to boost students' self-confidence

Many students are lacking in self-confidence, according to Psychology Today. Between social media, large classrooms, hectic home lives, and just trying to figure out how they fit in with their group of friends, life can begin to feel daunting for K-12 students.

An online tutor will be able to recognize this, and address it in a more relaxed, supportive environment. They do this by providing specific feedback to the student. Focused feedback can help nurture this by acknowledging the areas they're struggling with, then showing them methods to work through it.

SEL is tied in to this by praising students, and developing techniques that work for them.  Types of specific feedback online tutors can use include:

  • Appreciation
  • Guidance
  • Questions
  • Links to resources
  • Encouragement
  • Provide specific examples
  • Listening to the student
  • Contribute and monitor
  • Evaluate work
  • Set relevant goals

Encourages self-awareness

According to Verywell Mind, "Self-awareness involves being aware of different aspects of the self, including traits, behaviors, and feelings. Essentially, it's a psychological state in which oneself becomes the focus of attention." But how does this tie into SEL?

Essentially, to fully take advantage of SEL, the student needs to be more aware of the areas where they aren't showing as much growth and explore why that may be happening. Students may struggle with math because they find it dull and therefore don't focus on it as much as they should.

It may not be something comfortable to admit, but once the student does, they can begin to develop techniques that work for them and begin addressing their growth opportunities.

Promotes self-management

Self-management is learning to take control over yourself by managing the various areas of your life better. Self-management can include:

  • Time
  • Emotions
  • Health
  • Relationships
  • Studying

Take the example we used when discussing self-awareness about the student who isn't enthusiastic about math. By learning self-management skills, students can develop ways to focus more on math. Online tutoring can help bolster this by teaching students techniques to identify the areas they aren't excelling in, and explore the reasons behind this.

One method a student who dreads math can use is to spend 15 minutes studying math, switch to a subject they enjoy for 15, and take a brief break before returning to math.

Without self-management skills, students will find it harder to succeed in school and life in general. Online tutoring can offer ways for students to find something that works for them specifically, as opposed to the latest buzzword or app going around the academic world.

Allows students to work on SEL vocabulary

SEL vocabulary is the words we use to describe how we're feeling. Many students may not know how to express their feelings with words. By utilizing SEL vocabulary, online tutors can coach them about how to do this.

Telling others about their true feelings can be rather scary for many students, especially if they fear how others will react. Online tutoring allows students to learn this crucial life skill in a non-threatening, casual, and supportive environment.

Tutors can also provide instant feedback by asking questions, using SEL vocabulary, providing examples of how to use SEL vocabulary in a more effective manner, and responding in an affirming way. This allows the student to explain how they feel with someone they feel comfortable with as opposed to doing so in front of a crowded room.

Some examples of SEL Vocabulary include:

  • Rephrasing negative self-talk
  • Self-concept
  • Success
  • Decision-making
  • Self-honesty
  • Self-responsibility
  • Persistence

Pear Deck Tutor can help your students thrive through SEL

SEL is something that all students need, but most teachers cannot teach because there are simply too many students who require their attention at any given time.

Online tutors can overcome this by working one-on-one with the student, while providing feedback to bolster their self-confidence, encourage self-awareness, and promote self-management. The student will also be able to learn the SEL vocabulary they need to express themselves more effectively.

Are you looking for a leading online tutoring platform to help make SEL a seamless part of your school or district's curriculum? Join the hundreds of partner schools and districts already using Pear Deck Tutor to help their students hone their SEL skills.


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Andrew Graves
Director of Customer Experience

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