Emotions and feelings are the prime movers of human activity. They are connected with the specific modes of activity important for the development of the individual and his relationship with the society. Emotions are the main springs of human behaviour and have, therefore, tremendous importance in the theory and practice of education.
“Reservoirs of power,” said Prof. James, “are developed by emotions”. Proper emotional training of the young, growing child-often called the little savage-is highly desirable to fit him to hold a place in the civilized society. Thus, emotional training is an important task with the teacher if he values physical, mental and social health of his pupils. Development of character is very dependent on sound emotional health of the individual.
How to Train Emotions?
Emotions can be trained by the following methods:
(2) Catharsis, that’ is, giving a free outlet to emotions,
(4) Mental occupation, that is, making the child do something,
(5) Co-curricular activities,
(6) Creating healthy environment
(7) Inhibition and repression,
(8) Punishment, if needed.
The teacher can play an important role in the emotional training of the child, especially upto adolescence stage. This early training will set the pace for future emotional stability of the individual. The teacher can play his role in a number of ways as given below:
1. Teacher’s personal emotional stability is very important.
Example is better than precept. A teacher who does not fall back to fits of anger nor loses temperament, is sure to leave a healthy impression on his pupils. The teacher is likely to be caught in a number of tense situations inside the class- room or in the play-ground. He must give a proof of emotional balance without getting irritated on small accounts.
The teacher should be careful that his home-life does not interfere with his professional life. He must ignore small acts of mischief of his pupils. He should treat his pupils kindly and sympathetically. He should emotionally disturbed pupil and should give him his confidence.
2. Unnecessary frequent punishments should be avoided.
He should avoid such remarks as would hurt the child’s ego. He should own the student and respect his personality.
3. Congenial atmosphere is necessary for the emotional health of students. Teachers should behave themselves in their interpersonal relationship. The school atmosphere should give the pupils a sense of belongingness and a feeling of security.
4. Opportunities for self-expression are helpful in creating emotional stability. Proper literary facilities, provision for games and sports, organisation of debates, declamations, dramatics, etc. are a number of activities which the teacher can arrange in the school for giving an outlet to children’s pent-up emotions and repressed feelings.
5. Self-government in school is another important means of teaching self-restraint, self-discipline and a code of conduct to the children which no external agent can teach. This satisfies their ego, gives them a feeling of responsibility and helps them in sound mental health.
6. Positive suggestions can help in the formation of positive sentiments. Negative suggestions disturb emotional as well as mental balance. The teacher should avoid negative suggestions.
7. Educational guidance and counseling is highly desirable in schools. If a whole-time counselor is not available, the teacher should perform this job also. The teacher should win over the confidence of his students to the extent that they do not think in bringing even their personal problems to him. The teacher should do his best in helping them overcome their problems.
8. Occasional visits to children’s homes help the teacher in knowing them better. This would also help him in detecting certain problems which have their origin in the child’s home and are likely to upset him. The teacher can take positive steps in this regard.
Many more similar steps can be taken by the teacher, as and when the occasion demands it, to see his children emotionally healthy.