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Saturday, 17 January 2015

Is the Emotional Side Playing a Role in Your Planning? I think, we all should have a look at ourselves before adding it.

January 17th.- 

I should be sleeping by this time, but I feel I can not close this day without saying what I do feel about what I have learnt so far about  people's emotions and mine as well.
The thing is how many people care about others emotions nowadays,  and if we as human beings or individual ones out of a classroom do mind about them, or we just do not care so much about what other people feel and maybe our own feelings as well, then the big question has come to my mind... "How can we pretend to understand or feel our students in class if we do not start with our own lives?"

It is so common and I may say a routine to see headlines full of bad news and of course I am not saying anything new with this, but what surprises a lot it is the increasing of the indifference of people about how others feel and how people are getting their heart harder and harder in order not to be touched so much about others, or maybe do a thing for a change, or at least give a try. 

Sure, we teachers are not heroes and heroines to save the world, but I do believe we are involved in such a vital role for the society as we are the ones who are the responsible for the generations coming.

Now, this is the time when most of us have started a new semester of the winter season or like us in Peru our summer courses as we are on holidays, all of us are busy working on planning and working in programmes to make our classes more interesting with creative activities, lovely engagement tasks, integrating technology and so on.. I am sure all of you are doing a great a job, and once again it has come to my mind how much we care about our students emotions when we are plannifying.

What do we think about how our learners can feel about a specific topic or how can we manage when a situation is out of control because of a specific issue of one of our students? 
How do we plan to evaluate thinking in the learners as  humans with emotions?

In my humble experience,  I could say that by thinking not only as a group, but also keeping our learners in mind as individual ones with their own worlds and trouble even if they are very young kids really works a lot. By knowing a bit more than their data info can also work, so of course I am pointing at the dream word: "Rapport", then how do we build rapport for getting all these factors to consider in our classes? 
Here are some tips from my experience:
We build rapport by caring, by listening to them, by letting them to express what they feel, by sharing a chat out of a classroom, by letting them know how important they are for us and for others, by making them feel  aware they are loved for who they are,  and....  one last single thing that I always have in my reflection, by reminding ourselves "why we choose this career", when we were in our first year steps of teaching with the greatest passion on, then go back to that marvellous time and say to ourselves I teach because I feel!! 
Emotions .. how many of us need to lead with them? Everybody, raising both hands here, and I believe it is more important now than the academic side, the emotional one is seemed to be forgotten in our planning somehow, we may be busy thinking about how to reach the academic aims of the course and to get our heads happy with good marks at the end of the syllabus or a good number of learners who achieve international certifications, but what about the feeling of making ourselves happy after a lesson, and by the end of the day when we are taking notes of our own self assessment we could consider a tick in the emotional side, how many times we can say, Yes!! today the shy one smiled and had the time of his/her life, I could see him/her interacting with others without asking him/her or being part of a task, how many times we can write today I feel that I did not want to leave my class, and you go home saying Yes!! I also had the time of my life; the essential is not perceived with the senses, it is perceived with the heart. 

Time for evaluations? -  Everybody is in tension because you are in the front side and your students are the ones who will receive the punishment, how can we avoid that? 

Once again, this humble teacher has found very useful to make them work on breathing exercises, stretching themselves, work on a previous musical activity for relaxing and saying how they feel, take them to the garden of your campus or school and make them take off your shoes feel the grass and why not make them round on the grass, personally I have done that and we all came back to class full of good vibes from mother nature and the greatness of being together supporting each other with only one aim to make tension go away from them. The time of evaluation comes and of course you are not in front of them, you walk around making them feel you are there not as a judge, but as the person who has been all the term next to them.

Emotions are always in our lives and manage them adequately mark a huge difference in the quality of life.

To close this short post , I believe that if we stand next to our kids, teenagers, adults to listen to their hearts, they could find that thing they love making in life, and in that way they will feel motivated to reach it, and help them creating a space to develop this emotional side, a goal maybe for some?  
Difficult, maybe a bit hard to negotiate with the institutions we work for, the good news is that the one who is the chief of your class and life is "YOU", of course it is able to happen, key words: 

  • Remember we work with human beings.
  • Believe in your approaches and own beliefs. 
  • Keep in mind your roots and early ages.
  • Do not give up.
  • Keep your dreams up.
  • Do not follow stereotypes.
  • Be yourself.
  • Enjoy every single thing in your class.
  • Keep in mind you are making a difference in the life of others.
  • Never ever forget why you have chosen this career.

Finally, I would like to thank a very good friend from my own high school,  who has made me feel in the mood about writing on emotions. Thanks for inspiring me J.L.!