Lesson 8: Coaching Students to Manage Their Feelings

Her brother has been diagnosed with leukemia….His sister has been sexually assaulted….His favorite uncle committed suicide….Her parents are divorcing….He is under tremendous pressure to do well on the final exam….Her parents have taken her car away for six weeks….He didn’t make the football team….She just broke up with her boyfriend….From day to day, we never know what feelings of anger, sadness, frustration, fear, and rejection our students will be bringing to our classrooms. And how well students do in handling those feelings will play a major role in determining how well they do in school.

A study at the University of Washington in Seattle indicates that when children are taught to understand and manage their emotions, they are able to focus better in school. As a result, students have longer attention spans and are able to score higher on math and achievement tests. They also appear to have less behavioral problems in school, at home, and with their friends.

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