How Can Teachers Help Students Effectively Channel Their Emotions?
Part II: The article follows up the discussion on the anger among American students and tries to understand the role of teachers to help students channel their emotions and in the process, control them better.
School classrooms are as much an environment for academic learning as it is for emotional learning. Till now, schools have focused heavily on the “academic” side of things. However, as research has revealed that academic and emotional learning are intertwined and critical for the development of a child. Students who are socially developed and emotionally intelligent have been observed to achieve higher academic success, register lower levels of stress, avoid negative behaviors like violence, anger, bullying, and more. Teachers are the key for the students to understand and appreciate the importance of social and emotional learning. They can help students to channel their emotions effectively. Here’s how.
Accessible Channel of Communication
Teachers are authority figures in the life of a student. However, the authority should not become synonymous with fear. Teachers should keep a line of communication open for the students so that they can discuss their problems openly. This also helps teachers to stay in touch with the ground reality of their classroom and take measures to address the issues their students are facing. This can mean changing the seating arrangements, changing group compositions, talking to parents or counselors, changing teaching pedagogy, and so on. When students know they are being heard, their levels of anxiety and angst go down.
Using the Contagious Nature of Compassion
Teachers should demonstrate compassion in the classroom to encourage their students to practice it. Compassion is a powerful tool. Social and emotional learning breeds compassion. It helps students to recognize their emotions, and also of those around them. As students build the power to be compassionate, they can understand others better and also able to express themselves more effectively. This builds emotional maturity and helps children evolve.
Encouraging Social & Emotional Learning
Social and emotional learning usually takes a backseat in an academically charged environment. However, experienced teachers understand that social-emotional learning (SEL) is an integral part of a child’s emotional and academic development. So, teachers should keep the SEL sessions at par with the academic lectures. They can use structured and expert programs like SEL Adventures as a mode of instruction. These include classroom sessions, outdoor activities, and feedback report. When the teacher places importance on the study and practice of SEL, students will be primed to study SEL too. It will, in turn, help them to channel their emotions in a healthy manner.
The Responsibility Lies with Everyone
Of course, there are a lot of external factors at play here. It is not fair to expect teachers to manage all the aspects of a student’s life alone. It is a joint responsibility of the teachers, parents, and the school administration. They have to create a healthy school environment by using useful tools like SEL Adventures for the benefit of the students.
Learn more about how SEL Adventures can help teachers to engage students and contribute to their social and emotional learning at https://sel-adventures.com/en/programs/