Emotional and social health have become more and more important in today’s world. As a teacher, no amount of training can prepare you for the issues you’ll see and how they affect your students. Because it can be incredibly difficult to get students to learn to their fullest academic potential, the best thing you can do is create an environment where kindness is encouraged, social and emotional lessons are taught, and character traits like respect, trustworthiness, and responsibility are developed.
From Bosses to Leaders
One way to check a student’s social health is to ask: are they a boss or a leader? Bosses are the type to stand back and instruct others, while leaders lead the pack from the front and show how it should be done. We want students to be leaders and to lead by example; but how do we help kids adapt some of their bossy traits into leadership skills?
When someone is bossy, they want things to be done a certain way and with certain expectations. This can be a good thing. If we think of really good leaders, they also possess certain standards that they want met. However, a good leader isn’t going to express their expectations in a way that’s condescending or bossy. When students are bossy, it is the role of a teacher to step in and help them understand and develop those good leadership traits.
Educator Shannon Anderson finds that the bossiness of students often comes out when they’re in small groups. When you’re observing this in your classroom, she recommends putting your students in groups doing low-stakes activities; some ideas include a LEGO challenge, putting a puzzle together, or making a cup pyramid. When they’re working on these activities, it might be a good idea to record it. Later in the year, if you see your students cooperating poorly, show them the recording so they can see how they acted in the past and they can reflect on it. You might also have them grade themselves, as a group or individually, on their teamwork or bossiness.
There’s nothing that can fully prepare you for every issue a student may have. However, it’s possible to be prepared for the most common issues. If you’re having trouble with your students’ emotional or social states, this course was made for you.
The course, Bossy Pants, Perfectionists, and Slackers, Oh My!, teaches participants some of the best ways to help improve their students’ social and emotional health. The course is taught by Shannon Anderson, an educator with 25 years of teaching experience and author of a multitude of children’s books that deal with topics such as perfectionism, anxiety, and personal growth.
In this 1-hour course presented by shannonisteaching.com, participants will learn how to:
- Provide emotional support
- Turn bosses into leaders
- Address perfectionism
- Help “the slacker” have more agency