It’s a valid question. I tag myself as the #sociallyawkwardsocialskillsteacher, and often share stories with my students of various social blunders I have found myself in as a kid growing up and as an adult.
Which leads one to wonder “Why Social Skills?” and the follow up “Why do you teach it when you don’t know what to do in certain situations yourself?” Okay, but does ANYONE know what to do all the time?
No. The answer is no. There is no way we can foresee all the social situations one will be put in in their life. Nor can we know how one will handle all the various social situations both scheduled (job interview) and unscheduled (someone unexpectedly knocking on your front door). What you can address as a social skills teacher are the basic skills that society and culture you are a part of find acceptable.
And that’s what I teach. Rather than teach my students what is “right” or “wrong” in a situation, I teach them to think about the society and culture they are apart of, to watch others and think about what the expectation is for them in the situation they are in, and then decide for themselves if they want to be apart of that expectation or not.
Social Skills is not about “making” someone behave in a socially accepted way. What’s considered “socially accepted” is always changing and evolving as society is evolving. It’s about teaching my students to analyze the situations they are in and make their own choices about whether they want to be a part of that social expectation or not.
And then (and this is sometimes the hardest part) respecting their choice and supporting them through the consequences.