|Posted by Marilyn Robb on January 5, 2014 at 12:00 AM|
My mind is always churning up new ventures; even the ones I have going at the time I feel the need to review or at least keep them fresh. My new venture I am going to call One-school-at-a-time. This is inspired by the project I have been carrying out at one particular school and which I now want to take to all other schools- one at a time.
For the past 7 months I conducted a Social and Emotional Learning programme at a primary school here in Trinidad and I have been very pleased with the success. The two most crucial successes were that the entire school got involved and that they persisted with the programme for the two terms and are willing to continue. Also very heartening was the fact that the parents jumped on board with a day long workshop.
Here is an excerpt from the report of this first phase:
At the start of the programme teachers admitted that they knew very little about Social and Emotional Learning. The awareness of SEL as a crucial part of teaching and learning had certainly increased through the programme. At the end of the 2-day workshop teachers felt confident about their own understanding of SEL and were looking forward to implementing the basic lessons in the classroom.
The feedback sessions indicated that the students were responding positively and eagerly to the lessons. The students were developing good listening skills and were responding in more appropriate ways to situations in the classroom. Some students also reported improved relationships with their siblings at home. This contributed to the release of some of the pressure on the teachers to listen constantly to students, to address their emotional needs and to deal with behaviour issues.
An important aspect of the programme was building support among the teachers. They also learned to use the supportive listening skills to maintain their own emotional well-being throughout the programme. They too indicated improvements in their relationships and interacting with others outside of the school setting.
I have also started a project at a pre-school. We have only done a parents' workshop so far but we have outlined the sessions for teachers and parents for the upcoming school year.
I WILL fulfill my goal of incorporating Social and Emotional Learning into all schools in the Caribbean even if I do it one school at a time.