Emotions and Learning
I recently finished reading a great book from ASCD (Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development) entitled "The Power of the Adolescent Brain - Strategies for Teaching Middle and High School Students" written by Thomas Armstrong that has some amazing and, more importantly, realistic ideas. I highly recommend reading this book for yourself, with a team of teachers, or even as a school. There is even a study guide to help guide and facilitate thinking as you read that you can get by clicking HERE!
I would like to take a moment to summarize Armstrong's six suggestions to encourage affective learning and support the emotional development of your students:
1. Be emotionally supportive of your students!
- Greet students by name.
- Provide encouragement over criticism.
- Be willing to listen and really hear what they are saying.
- Celebrate successes.
- Partake in your own stress management and share strategies with students.
- Use props or costumes.
- Do something unexpected.
- Look for and use teachable moments.
- Share your story, and details of your personal life.
- Assign controversial books for students to read.
- Conduct debates (Philosophical Chairs) and discussions (Socratic Seminars) on controversial topics.
- Teach social justice issues after finding out what concerns students!
- Use cartoons.
- Use TV and movie comedies to teach content.
- Have students write jokes or skits for your content area.
- Ask students to visualize what they're reading and share.
- Have students recreate a historical scene.
- Practice visualizing success for themselves like professional athletes do.
- Listen to their current music!
- Read and share some of the books that they like.
- Visit and use blogs, websites, and apps that your students do.
- Check out www.urbandictionary.com.
- Reflect on your own adolescence.
This really all goes back to relationship-building. I hope the above offers you some ways to continue to strengthen the ties you have with your students. They will probably not remember that amazing lesson or project that you spent hours, weeks, or all summer planning - but they will remember you and how you made them feel!