According to a recent study, 65 percent of children entering primary school today will end up working in jobs types that don't yet exist. The study shows skills like creativity, emotional intelligence and critical thinking are among the top 10 skills desired by employers. (Source: World Economic Forum)
As an educator, I strongly believe that Social Emotional Learning should be the foundational mechanism of our lives. It has taken me a lot of time and courage to acknowledge that I was an 'unhappy child' in school. Despite scoring decent grades, I could never experience a sense of satisfaction or belongingness. I remember that people around, would always ask me to stay happy because it is a label that is generally associated with all children without understanding their context. However, at that time, I could not even reflect on my emotions because that was never taught to me. That experience deeply influences the kind of educator I want to be in the context of the world today.
My journey as an educator has helped me realize that it is high time we take action to educate the 'whole child' by catering to their social, emotional, cognitive, and biological development.It is our responsibility to create a conducive environment where the child feels safe, otherwise learning will not take place. There is an ardent need for kids to be taught according to 21st Century skills so that they can become competent and work to the best of their capabilities. SEL is still the 'missing piece' in our education system. Children are the future of the nation as they grow up to implement important decisions and when they do the same with information but no SEL skills, it can create an empirical peril to the working of the system at large.
Teachers need to be equipped with SEL so that they can create healthy, safe learning environments and promote human flourishing in their classrooms. Teachers with high Social and Emotional competencies can recognize and manage their own emotions as well as understand how their emotional responses impact others, especially their students. Therefore there is an urgent need to adapt to an evolved understanding of education as a concept.
Teach For India Fellow,