- Susanna Ahvalo, teacher, Kilonpuisto School
Teaching Emotional Skills and Self-Awareness In Schools
What is it all about?
The modern world is fast paced and full of stimuli that are a source for stress for adults and children alike. It is necessary to practice skills for living in the middle of it all, to be able to distinguish the essential as well as get along with yourself and others.
For this reason, schools should look for ways to invest in a stress-free learning environment, teach emotional and social skills, how to build self-confidence and take care of the general well-being of yourself and others.
This is all related to the practice of mindfulness, in other words, practicing emotional skills and self-awareness.
Emotional skills and self-awareness mean being aware of your own and others’ feelings, an ability to identify and name them, and having control over responsive and behavioral patterns. Good emotional skills and self-awareness help us in social interactions and have more empathy towards ourselves and others.
Good emotional skills and self-awareness help the student to focus their attention on a specific subject, focus on what is important, and calm the body and mind in different situations at school. The student also improves in identifying their harmful or misleading thoughts and learns to consider actions and behavior instead of responding impulsively. All this increases collaboration skills and promotes learning.
At Kilonpuisto School, the aim has been to invest in students' emotional skills and self-awareness by building a suitable learning module for each teacher. It includes individual exercises and guidelines for long-term implementation. In addition, the exercises include learning about strengths.