As teachers we want our students to fulfil their potential, so it’s important to think about how we can help them do this. Putting academia aside, one of the most valuable lessons we can teach and support is emotional literacy. Developing emotional literacy aids a child’s mental health and also physical well-being, as both are inextricably linked. Healthy emotional development helps to shape the rest of their lives, and being emotionally literate helps them express their own emotions effectively, appropriately and productively, while also developing positive social interactions with other people in society.
In addition to being able to understand their own emotions, it also enables them to develop the ability to listen to others, to develop empathy, helps to improve their quality of life and relationships. It is also important to help children understand that feelings can not only change over time and are not permanent, but also that some feelings are brought on by change.
www.specialeducationalneeds.co.uk suggest that more education professionals should be trained in understanding and helping develop emotional literacy. This can be done through a range of activities which:
- Encourage co-operation with others.
- Build self-esteem through positive social interaction.
- Demonstrate effective social behaviour.
- Create imaginary situations to discuss the feelings of others.
- Use age appropriate story telling as a tool. Various aspects of emotional matters and development can be explored and in a safe way.
- Create a healthy and successful learning environment.
- Modelling is an effective teaching method so teachers need to look after and understand their own emotional health.
Here at Woodlands we offer a range of bespoke provision with the aim that our students feel as safe and happy as possible at school.