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Connecting Learning with Emotions: Dr. Ushavati Shetty

Social-emotional skills play a crucial role in our children's development, both within the school environment and throughout their lives. These skills encompass a wide range of abilities, such as understanding and managing emotions, regulating impulses, effective communication, and collaborative teamwork, all of which contribute to overall well-being and success.

One effective way to establish a positive and productive tone each day is through a mindful approach. Incorporating a daily emotions check-in provides dedicated time and space for every learner to express and share their feelings openly. As an educator, I have personally embraced this practice by introducing a "confession chair" in my classroom, a concept I have consistently implemented over the years and continue to uphold in my office. The presence of this chair grants students the freedom to engage in open and uninhibited conversations with their teacher, creating a platform for positive expression and emotional release.

To illustrate the transformative power of connecting emotions with learning, let me share the story of a student in my class who appeared consistently disinterested and frequently fell asleep during lessons. Despite these challenges, this student went on to achieve remarkable success, securing a gold medal in the prestigious "Khelo I Do" event and multiple medals at the Commonwealth Games.

This inspiring example demonstrates how recognizing and addressing a student's emotional well-being can profoundly impact their overall engagement and performance.

In today's fast-paced world, parents often struggle to find quality time to spend with their children. The pressures of daily work obligations further compound this challenge, and the rise of nuclear families has led to increased reliance on hired resources such as domestic help, cooks, and drivers. In the past, when the joint family system was more prevalent, elderly family members took an active role in nurturing and guiding children, imparting cultural values and traditions. However, in the current context, it has become increasingly important for educators to provide emotional support and foster a sense of belonging within the classroom.

Let me share an anecdote that highlights the significance of emotional connection in education. Once, a watch belonging to a student went missing, causing distress and turmoil. Instead of simply dismissing the incident, I seized the opportunity to transform it into a valuable lesson. Through open discussions and empathy-building activities, we collectively explored the emotions associated with the loss and the importance of trust within our learning community. This incident not only resolved the immediate issue but also created a lasting impact on the emotional well-being and camaraderie among the students.

By being mindful of the emotions we evoke in our students, we have the power to transform mundane and forgettable learning experiences into vibrant and unforgettable ones. By embracing social-emotional skills and fostering a nurturing environment that recognizes and supports each child's emotions, we can empower our students to thrive academically, emotionally, and socially.


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