I think most teachers are empathetic and aware that addressing students' emotional needs would help their classroom dynamic in the long run. I am lucky to be working in a small school with a strong support network of teachers, guidance and adjustment counselors, and administration, who are there for the students (and the teachers!). I don't teach an academic content subject, but I imagine at the high school level, there is a lot of pressure to get through the content for all students who are required to take certain standardized tests. Addressing the social/emotional needs of students might also seem overwhelming if a teacher is just not comfortable or lacks the skills to deal with those types of things. In my school, the adjustment counselor and I are instituting a peer mediation program, which we feel would assist teachers in the classroom for this very reason. If students are bringing personal issues into the class which are then preventing them and others from learning,!
I think pulling them out and dealing with those problems is one way to help them overcome the problem and focus on their education--and only fair for the rest of the students.
Instructor of Fine Arts
Mt. Everett Regional School
From: teacher-talklearning-bounces_at_learner.org [teacher-talklearning-bounces_at_learner.org] on behalf of Randi K [zenway01_at_gmail.com]
Sent: Saturday, April 07, 2012 9:32 PM
Subject: [Teacher-talklearning] workshop #5
One of the messages within this segment asserts that teachers must deal
with student emotions, teaching them to deal with it in healthy and
proactive ways, or the mismanaged emotions may interfere with learning. One
teacher reflected on how her vision of her “role” relative to student
emotional development has changed over her time as a professional. She said
that her first year in teaching fifth grade students, she focused almost
exclusively on making sure that students received the appropriate content
for their grade. As her years as a teacher passed, she stated that her
thoughts on her role evolved, also. She stated clearly that she felt that
her responsibility to teach them how to manage relationships with others
and preparing them for the next challenges in their lives was as much her
responsibility as teaching the curriculum.
I found that an interesting observation, proffered by a teacher who was
paying attention to students’ needs. I am not sure whether this was stated
with such confidence, in part, because the teacher is one of adolescent age
students. However, with teachers in my high school, there appears to me to
be a very large divide between the acceptable use of strategies aimed at
helping students with social development and strategies aimed solely at
teaching content. For example, teachers in “teamed settings,” where
Exceptional Educational Needs-certified staff team with content area staff
within a single classroom, seem to accept the deluge into social-emotional
development lessons. In strictly regular education settings, where EEN
students are not as common, teachers seem generally far less willing to be
“distracted” by the social emotional neediness of students within their
classrooms. There is a general consensus that those sorts of lessons are
tackled outside of the classroom, especially if they detract from delivery
of the lesson to other students. So, where, exactly, does the change occur?
Is it a question of personal empathy, educational philosophy, or
developmental needs of the students?
Life is as dear to a mute creature as it is to man. Just as one wants
happiness and fears pain, just as one wants to live and not die, so do
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Received on Tue Apr 10 2012 - 16:18:24 EDT