Spain – Emotional education and accompaniment, also necessary for safe return to school

04 September 2020

(ANS - Madrid) - Masks, social distancing, hygiene, work in small groups ... Health measures that have been repeated over and over to us to ensure a "safe return to school". The families, the administrative staff, the teaching staff have worked on all the measures indicated by the health authorities. But this is not enough: it is also necessary to accompany the emotions, so that children and their families can face and re-elaborate everything they have experienced in these months of the pandemic.

In order to deal with a safe return to school, yesterday, Thursday 3 September, the first online training meeting was held for teachers of kindergartens and the first years of elementary school, organized by the pedagogy and orientation sector of the “Spain-St James the Greater” Province and supported by the Salesian publisher EDEBÉ.

The meeting brought together, through the Zoom platform, over 400 educators from Salesian centers throughout Spain. Teachers from kindergarten and elementary school from various centers, teams of guidance counselors, were able to receive from Beatriz Montañés, an expert in emotional education, resources and proposals that will help them in this atypical start of the new school year.

The speaker – a psycho-pedagogue and expert in evolutionary psychology, teacher of infant education at the Salesian center in La Orotava, as well as a member of the socio-affective education team of the Province of "Spain-Mary Help of Christians" - in her presentation appreciated the fact that teachers, families and students came together and wanted to learn to deal with a situation of uncertainty for which it is necessary to learn to manage emotions: “Let us take advantage of the circumstances to teach children everything that happens in the orchestra of our brain and how to contribute to live in harmony,” she said.

In the two and a half hours of the session, the interventions of Dr. Montañés focused on the search for a common balance between reason and heart, which helps to give strength to students, families and teachers in view of the start of the school year.

The educational proposal aimed at achieving various objectives, including the importance of working on the emotional learning process to help students adapt to the new reality, as well as analyzing the situations to be experienced in the classroom from a multidimensional perspective: thinking, emotion and behavior.

Participants were presented with useful strategies for creating and maintaining their own and others' emotional well-being. Among the tools proposed, three keys will help accompany both children and families, generating emotional well-being: information, trust and contact "reinvented" through glances, imaginary hugs, gestures from a distance ...

“Our maxim 'Education is a thing of the heart' makes sense now more than ever, to take care of ourselves and our boys and girls, to work with families, to get to know each other and learn to recognize and manage our emotions,” concluded Dr. Montañés.


ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

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