How I implemented social-emotional learning— “Teaching with the HEART in Mind.”
I have always enjoyed teaching. There is nothing as inspiring as the “aha” moment reflected in students’ eyes when they understand a new concept. For me, “aha” moments are one of the best things life offers, and I constantly try to achieve them by learning myself and teaching others.
Lately, I added to my product management role at a high-tech company the role of a teacher for 9th graders — I teach them python and AI as an extra curriculum activity, sponsored by Intel and the Davidson Institute. I went into the classroom to meet my young students feeling unequipped to handle their emotions. Much frustration is exposed in the class as students struggle to grasp complex ideas. Furthermore, these are Covid-19 times, which means students are much more lonely and with a dire need to connect to their peers and teachers.
Exposed to the idea of Social Emotional Learning (SEL), I decided to read “Teaching with the HEART in Mind” by Lorea Martinez. In Teaching with the HEART in Mind, Dr. Lorea Martínez Pérez provides a comprehensive road map to understanding the psychology of emotions, relationships, and adversity in learning, while equipping you to teach SEL skills and develop your own social and emotional intelligence. Full of practical techniques for educators of all subjects, this is your guide for transforming your classroom through essential SEL principles.
One of my favorite quotes:
“Students will not be able to achieve mastery of academic content if they feel bored, stressed, or isolated. They will not focus on learning or remember any of the content presented in class. Knowing the importance of emotional learning, we aim to create a classroom environment where the emotional needs of students are met, and they feel connected, activated, energized, and can connect to the academic content wholehearted. “
As an engineer, I have to admit that most of the chapters say the same things. But it doesn’t matter. The main thing coming out clear and loud is the message of compassion to the student’s feelings. I am now teaching them by taking into account their emotional state and addressing it. One pattern that emerged is the ability to be wrong, I celebrate it with the students, and I feel that the class is more effective in allowing negative emotions. Only time will tell how this journey will end.