Emotional Learning Strategies – Schools play a severe role in developing the five core social-emotional skills.

1. Allow Failures, Mistakes, and Experiments

Experience is a fundamental factor for all learning. Every child will fall to learn how to get up. He will make mistakes to find out the right way.

To learn is to understand why we are wrong. It is only when the error is accepted on both sides (children and adults) that everything becomes possible: reflection, learning, progression, creation, innovation, invention!

Therefore, it is up to adults to de-dramatize error and understands that error is part of the learning process: I am wrong, I am learning! Once the child has understood that it is necessary to make mistakes to learn, he will be able to give a positive role to the error without fearing it.

In this approach, the adult will be more interested in making the child explain what he wanted to do, rather than what he did or did not do wrong. The adult can thus try to identify the knowledge on which the child’s reasoning is bases and determine its possible origins.

It is possible to use errors as levers for progress in learning (whether formal/school or in any other type of learning).

2. The student-teacher relationship

Research has shown the impact of teaching styles in building strong connections with students. The quality of the student-teacher relationship and the teachers’ emotional support greatly influence well-being and academic achievement. Therefore, it is essential to know the underlying good student-teacher relations. Teaching staff working for the success of the students are divided as follows.

There are three types of teachers:

  • Supervising teaching stands out for its receptivity, support, and vision of students as responsible persons. He knows how to impose limits while encouraging autonomy. He explains the why of the rules and often asks the students themselves to participate in their development. In supervising education, we tolerate much more the pupils who question things or intervene in class discussions. Discipline matters, yes, but the imposition of consequences for transgressions is fair and consistent. Nurturing instruction energizes students’ social-emotional development and, according to research, develops responsible, pro-social and generally more mature students. It also promotes a positive atmosphere in the classroom and school-wide.
  • Authoritarian teaching, on the other hand, aims first for iron discipline in the classroom. Since teachers’ authority is sacred, students rarely have the opportunity to argue or question. Breaking rules or deadlines are not tolerated, with classroom behaviour primarily subject to a punishment/reward regime. If students break authoritarian rules, they accuse of not controlling their impulses and being solely responsible if they fail. Strict teaching appears to undermine students’ motivation, self-esteem, and sense of self-efficacy. It negates the social-emotional benefits typical of trusting relationships between student and teacher and a healthy atmosphere in the classroom.
  • Permissive teaching neglects discipline in the classroom and tends to ignore indiscipline for as long as possible, if at all. Further, permissive teachers do not attempt to build trust with students; instead, he doesn’t care about them and may even end up distrusting them. Teaching as such, considered a burden and not a vocation, is only entitled to a minimum effort. Permissive teaching appears to engender the same affective problems in students as permissive parenting: stronger impulsive tendencies, lack of motivation and perseverance, chronic anxiety, and poor academic performance.

3. Listen with Empathy

Children learn by imitation. The same is true for socio-emotional skills. When a teacher shows how to act with benevolence and empathy, he offers a model to understand and copy to develop the well-being and performance of all. When a child feels listened to, his heart opens. If you listen to your students’ emotions, a relationship of trust creates, and the students calm down. On the other hand, a child whose emotions are welcome develops good self-esteem because he feels he has the right to be who he is, feel what he feels, and trust his intuition.

When a child does not feel heard or understood, his heart closes and everything in his body contracts. When no one listens to a child’s emotions, they experience frustration and, therefore,  anger.

4. The way you think defines your feelings

The way you think defines your feelings Emotional Learning Strategies

Our feelings are reactions to a representation that we have of something. They express what one perceives of a situation and its thoughts. A feeling is located at the mental level (cortex) and not emotional (limbic system). That’s why we can deal with our feelings, even if it’s not always easy.

Feelings arise when we become attached to our thoughts in the face of a situation. They depend on our minds. Research shows that more resilient students have more academic success. They are aware of their thoughts, understand what is essential, and challenge their beliefs and ideas to create more positive outcomes. This is a vital idea because we cannot always influence everything that happens to us, but we significantly influence how we interpret what happens and how we deal with it. Many students are unaware that their thoughts affect their feelings. That’s why when you hear a student express frustration, anger, and other negative emotions, listen to the emotion and help your student challenge their ideas.

5. Teach problem-solving techniques

Children can learn to find non-violent solutions to their problems. Teachers encourage students to put themselves in the shoes of a detective to spot and analyze the different ideas that arise during the week in the face of stressful situations. Reframing thoughts is helpful in this case.

When automatic thoughts arise, for example, if a friend does not come to greet them in the morning (“I’ve never had any friends in this college”), adolescents, like detectives, train themselves to find alternative explanations (“he’s not in the mood this morning”, “he’s stressed because of control”, etc.