One of the critiques of the curriculum in schools is that it focuses a lot on rote learning and examinations. Some institutions, however, have started adopting a more interactive and creative approach for a child’s all round development. And that’s exactly what educator Olympia Della Flora stresses on.
In a recent Ted Talk, Flora highlighted how schools need to employ innovative tactics to help students, especially the ones who are struggling. Apart from the ability to read and write, kids also need to be taught how to manage their emotions. Taking care of a child’s emotional and mental health is as important as imparting knowledge.
“Of course teachers should be focused on the emotional well-being of their kids. But in reality, when you’re in a classroom full of 30 students and one of them’s throwing tables at you, it’s far easier to exclude that child than to figure out what’s going on inside of his head,” she pointed out.
Talking about how the school Flora is part of is helping kids, she informed, “We began to proactively address student behavior instead of simply react to it. Our teachers actually took time during the lesson plan to teach kids how to identify their feelings and appropriate, healthy coping strategies for dealing with them, such as counting to 10, grabbing a fidget spinner or taking a quick walk. We incorporated brain breaks throughout the day, allowing kids to sing songs, do yoga poses and participate in structured physical activities. And for those kids that struggle with sitting for long periods of time, we invested in flexible seating, such as rocking chairs and exercise bikes, and even floor elliptical machines, allowing kids to pedal underneath their desks. These changes encouraged kids to stay in the classroom, helping them to focus and learn. And when less kids are disrupting, all kids do better.”
Watch the video here: