Students’ emotional responses to challenging situations can influence their concentration, perseverance, application of learned skills, and interactions with others. Abraham Maslow’s expanded hierarchy of needs explains how physical and emotional safety must be satisfied in order to allow people to address cognitive and higher levels of human needs. In order to better create space for student learning, teachers can develop classroom environments in which students feel safe and supported. Beyond physical safety, structured routines and clear expectations can alleviate anxiety. Furthermore, by validating students’ challenges and acknowledging their accomplishments, teachers can enhance their students’ self-advocacy skills and encourage their efforts to work through difficulties and find success.
Even with safe and supportive classroom environments, students often have difficulty because they lack the communication skills to address challenging situations. Teachers can work with students on scripting, a strategy that helps students identify the challenge and their associated feelings about it, set a goal for addressing the challenge, and generate the language required to respond to the situation.
Free Landmark Teaching Strategies
This collection of Landmark teaching strategies offers suggestions and ideas for classroom implementation that help address students’ difficulties:
- Executive Function and Emotion: Create Supportive Spaces
These ideas for creating supportive learning environments can help address students’ need for emotional safety and enhance their learning.
- Executive Function and Emotion: Script Difficult Conversations
This explanation with examples of difficult conversations can help students move beyond emotion to address challenging issues.
For the full text of the Landmark Teaching Principles™, including “Include Students in the Learning Process,” click here .