The Importance of a "Heart-To-Heart" Conversation as Part of Emotional Education in Elementary Schools
Soruce: The European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences, 2016
Pressure of national and international achievements tests results in elementary schools dedicating most of their time to promoting pupils' achievements. However, does school dedicate adequate time to students' emotional availability to learning? Under the "New Horizon" educational reform in Israel, homeroom teachers must dedicate one weekly hour to individual emotional conversations with pupils. This policy relies on development theories regarding emotional conversations as vital to learning processes. I believe in managing a "heart to heart conversations" system shared by the entire school staff, a policy that requires overall solutions, but paves the way to pupils' emotional availability to learning and resulting success. Emotional conversation has many advantages for the teachers as well such as: getting to know children beyond their learning abilities, matching expectations and become more significant for their pupils.
Last but not least, educational climate is always an optimal goal for the Ministry of Education. I argue that personal conversations between the entire school staff and pupils, and between pupils themselves are the first tool to be employed in order to optimize the educational climate in schools.
My proposal is a model that can be implemented in every school. Of course every school can take this model and accentuate what reflects its school policy. However, personal encounters between teachers and pupils must never be waived. This does not mean that discourse between pupils and teachers will only take place once or twice a year. Teachers' educational work with their pupils will continue to exist in the classroom, parent meetings, social activities and even.... during breaks. Just the opposite, a policy of heart to heart conversations will create a language of discourse at school. Every pupil will know the place and time that a teacher will listen to him/her and just him/her. Even those pupils who are quiet during the week and do not fight for their place and maybe because of this disappear a little .... will get a place. Teachers can be pleasantly surprised by new discoveries about their pupils and even more than this from their pupils' desire to participate in personal/private conversations, from the sense of satisfaction that will accompany them in their work and the appreciation they will get from their parents.
In order to get to the desired goal: optimal educational climate, one must refer as well to social encounters in small groups managed by teachers. As such pupils will become experienced in social skills in different small group frameworks according to teachers' judgment.
Learning assistance, social encounters and personal/private heart to heart conversations within the framework of individual hours are tools that have existed in Israeli elementary school since the start of the 'New Horizon' reform. All that is needed is to better understand the possibilities hidden therein and manage them correctly. Correct management is likely to lead school to the coveted goal: optimal educational climate, to enable pupils to emotionally apply to learning and from here, there is no limit to success.