Emotions are like our friends – they are always with us. Ms. Yu Chen from the “Little House of the Heart” Counseling Center has led students and teachers on a wonderful journey of emotions: approaching emotions, seeing emotions, exploring emotions, embracing inner feelings openly, actively meeting inner needs, taking care of their own bodies and minds, and becoming a better self.
Our Primary School’s ‘Emotions Series’ Psychology Lesson
— My Little Emotion Monster
“Teacher, I can’t tell what kind of feeling this is. It’s very complicated and hard to express.”
“Teacher, whenever I encounter this kind of situation, I can’t help but be angry. Is that wrong?”
“Teacher, every time I get upset, I don’t know how to manage my emotions. If I suppress it, I feel very frustrated. If I let it out, I’m afraid it will damage our relationship. What should I do?”
In response to the various challenges learned of through children’s counseling sessions, an emotion-themed psychology course was conducted in Semester 1 to guide students to become more aware of their emotions, to be able to accept their emotions, and to find suitable ways to manage them – to discover and call on their inner energy and strengths, and to explore and seek external resources and support.
Hello! My Little Emotion Monster
Look! The children are meditating and trying to draw their own “Little Emotion Monster”! Through drawing, children are more able to express the complex emotions they have in their hearts, and to perceive and identify their emotions in the moment.
Some children remarked, “I feel much more comfortable after drawing and it helps me organize my mood.”
Some children said, “My little emotion monsters are sometimes big, sometimes small, and sometimes several of them appear together.” Other children said, “I didn’t expect that others experienced the same mood as me. I thought I was the only one, but I was relieved to see that everyone was in a similar situation!”
Welcome! My Little Emotion Monster
Listen! The children are sharing about what kind of mood their Emotion Monsters represent, when they usually appear and when they are most affected by them. Through sharing, children are exploring the reasons behind certain emotions step-by-step, and are able to better understand what the little Emotion Monsters are trying to say to them in the moment.
The children came to understand that an emotion is just a messenger that sends a message, and all they have to do is welcome it and talk to it to see what needs they have ignored.
Reconcile, My Little Emotion Monster
Look! The children are brainstorming! “What can we do to shrink or amplify the little Emotion Monsters?” and “Who or what can accompany us to help us cope with this little Monster together?” Through brainstorming, the children worked together to find their inner energy and strengths, and to learn about helpful external resources and support for managing their emotions. They drew around their little Emotion Monsters their secret weapons for managing their emotions, tools that they could use to both shrink/amplify their inner emotion monsters and get their inner strength back.
Some children said, “When I’m down, I now feel much better about being able to talk to my family and friends about it. I also have a lovely little dog at home, and every time I pet the dog it puts me in a good mood.”
Some children said, “I love reading books, and every time I read a book it makes me forget about my external worries. Running outdoors can also make me very relieved.”
One child said, “I’ve been optimistic since I was a child, and I can see the positive side of anything that happens, so everyone calls me Pistachio.”
Other children, hearing what everyone shared, couldn’t help but sigh: “I used to hold myself back in silence when I was feeling bad, thinking that time was the healer. But in fact, when too many negative emotions are suppressed, they can suddenly burst out, hurting ourselves and others. Now, I’m going to try to use the methods we all shared about to shrink my little Emotion Monsters!”
Classroom Teachers’ Emotion Management Salon
— Tap into the “Iceberg”
Our teachers deposited their New Year’s “expectations” into a magical time box at the beginning of 2022. At the end of 2022, they reviewed their “expectations” and received more colourful expectations, opening up a new perspective for their own expectations and strengthening their own expectations, seeing a part of themselves that they desire to see more of.
In the process of exploring the ‘iceberg’ of self and students, the classroom teachers were able to see the feelings, opinions, expectations, desires, and true selves behind the behaviours of both self and students. Once the root of a problem is found, they can better follow their inner behaviours and emotions to express their true desires, thus reaping the benefits of a good mood!
Emotion Management Training for Bilingual Teachers
– Reading Our Emotions
Q1: Are there good and bad emotions?
Ms. Yu led the teachers to recognize emotions together through deep breathing meditation. Through Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs theory, we learned that having our needs met or not met can lead to positive or negative emotions respectively. In the discussion of the role of emotions, we can conclude that negative emotions can also be beneficial to us.
The teachers finally understood that although there are positive and negative emotions, there are no good or bad emotions, and each emotion has its own meaning.
Q2: Is emotional regulation about getting rid of bad emotions?
The teachers tried to detect and look for clues for students’ emotions in real classroom situations, and discovered that the way they respond to a student’s emotion can lead to different behavioral expressions. They understand the need to accept students’ emotions first, wait for students to calm down before discussing solutions to problems together, and accompany students in regulating their overreactions to emotions.