Emotions in the Classroom

Why focus on the social and emotional child?

A child that is feeling anxious, scared, or has low self-esteem will have a hard time trusting teachers or focusing on processing information in the classroom. At the beginning of adolescence, students begin to realize the complexities of life. At the same time, classroom learning becomes more complex and rigorous. Both girls and boys feel the pressure to conform to ideals that they don't have the maturity to achieve, and often act out in class in order to mask feelings of insecurity or poor performance. Without addressing the social and emotional turmoil of each student, classroom behavior will be disruptive, and many students will show a lack of interest due to feelings of insecurity.

Ways teachers can foster good social and emotional health in the classroom

Help students believe their success comes from effort.
If students are taught to see that effort creates improvement and later achievement, they are more likely to succeed at the task at hand.
Encourage students to reflect and rework.
If a student is struggling, rather than giving a low grade and move on, teach metacognitive skills. Reward improvement, hard work, and persistence.
Reward risk taking and failures. If a student feels safe in failure, they will feel safer learning
and challenging themselves.
Make students feel known and welcomed. You can't fake a personal connection. Create
time and space in your class to build a community.