Social/Emotional Environment

We agree with William Glasser* who said, "Learning is serious, but that doesn't mean it has to be grim!"  

Glasser also taught us that four needs must be met before students can learn - 
  • The need to Belong and to Love
  • The need for Power
  • The need for Freedom
  • The need to have Fun

Based upon those needs, and upon the trends in society and the workforce, we must create an Emotional Environment in the classroom which supports those needs.  First of all, we must develop and maintain the team.  It takes intentionality and time, but it is critical to children's emotional health as well as to their learning.  

Neuroscience has confirmed that our emotional states are directly related to how well we learn.  Even feelings like embarrassment, boredom, or frustration -- not only fear -- can spur the brain to enter the proverbial "fight or flight" mode. The amygdala goes into overdrive and gets in the way of the parts of the brain that can store memories.  "Reducing stress and establishing a positive emotional climate in the classroom is arguably the most essential component of teaching," writes Mariale Hardiman, a former teacher and administrator and current assistant dean of the Urban Schools Partnership at Johns Hopkins University's School of Education.**