Mental health has recently been given more prominence in society, although there is still a long way. Knowing how to interpret our emotions, identify them, and have the necessary tools to take care of ourselves should be vital, something that has become particularly evident with the onset of the pandemic. According to a study carried out by the WHO, it is estimated that one in five children and adolescents suffer from developmental, emotional or behavioural problems. Research shows that 50% of adult mental health problems start before the age of fifteen and 75% before eighteen. Suppose this starts with good emotional education from an early age. In that case, families should be responsible for raising their children, but schools are an ideal environment to lay the foundations. School classrooms should be one of the fundamental places where students can learn to manage the emotional dimension. The development of socio-emotional skills should play an essential role at both a personal and classroom level.
There are different ways of acquiring the knowledge to work on emotions and be able to transmit it in the best possible way to children, whether they are our pupils or our children. At school, we must provide the necessary tools so that, through different activities, such as games, we have the opportunity to establish a dialogue with the students. Consequently, they can obtain the autonomous capacity to express themselves with a language that allows them to define their feelings and emotions, which is valuable for them to apply in their relationships.
From the 2020/2021 academic year, at the secondary level, we have placed our trust in the SEER Foundation, a benchmark organisation in this field. The SEER team adapts these workshops to the needs of each group, as they previously contacted the centre to find out what the specific needs are to work on emotional intelligence in each group. These activities’ objectives are to promote awareness of their own emotions and others’. To provide tools to facilitate their wellbeing and that of the group by managing emotions that cause discomfort and the empowerment of wellbeing. On this occasion, we have worked on several areas, which have been adapting to the new stage of secondary school, identification and action against bullying, conflict resolution and frustration management to promote self-esteem.
Some of the teaching staff have witnessed these workshops, and we can assure that the pupils show a great interest in the topics presented to them and benefit from the resources provided. It seems that the regular and frequent organisation of this type of workshop should be a crucial element of the school’s tutorial plan, which will impact the wellbeing of our students at the level of defining values in their emotional education.
Hence, this is one of our first steps for emotional education to take the importance it deserves in our community within our school’s “wellbeing” project. Wellbeing must be physical and emotional to be able to face the new challenges that society may bring us in the future.
English teacher – Secondary coordinator