I am really enjoying my teaching in a Reception/Year 1 class – that means the kids are between 5 and 7 years of age. At various times during the day I heard one student telling different kids “You can come to my party”, or if at a particular moment in time he was feeling upset it was “You aren’t coming to my party.” At one stage I received the ultimate compliment, I was informed by this boy “You’re invited to my party!”
They are at that age where emotions and words flow freely and the kids are really learning to control them. I have been reminded how much emotions effect kids and their learning. It is hard to concentrate on learning when emotions are unsettled – both negative and positive. This is not just for little kids. I have now worked out that when my 11 year old is unhappy with friendships, he doesn’t eat much or function anywhere near as well.
“If your emotional abilities aren’t in hand, if you don’t have self-awareness, if you are not able to manage distressing emotions, if you can’t have empathy and have effective relationships, then no matter how smart you are, you are not going to get very far.”
(Daniel Goleman, Emotional Intelligence – Kimochis Product Catalogue, p 7)
As teachers and parents, listening to our children is time well spent. They need to know they are heard and they need the time and help to process emotions.
Amongst the business of your life, may you take time to notice the emotions of the children around you. May you be able to help them distinguish the emotions and give them the words to describe them.