Fri. Jun 14th, 2024
Kashfia Latafat

After the Pandemic the scenario around the globe has been changed and we are entering into a new era of education. Now the old school structures are not supported any more in our current situation. As teacher leaders, it’s time to shift our paradigm from old to new practices. More detailed and in-depth study is required for further improvement in the education sector. Learners are now in a state of mind where they need more social-emotional support ever before. “Maslow before Bloom”—we hear it all the time.

If we search deeper for developing more understanding we as teachers need to work hard on building a relationship with learners before starting direct teaching. We need to focus on making our environment safer and secure for learners. If they feel safe they will be able to focus on learning. Here I want to discuss Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs theory which provides us with a platform for designing our learning environments. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is a motivational theory in psychology comprising a five-tier model of human needs, often depicted as hierarchical levels within a pyramid.

As Maslow explain different levels of need which every human needed to carry on with their life more effectively. He describes 5 levels of needs that are necessary for humans to spend their life effectively. During the time of covid 19 we can use Maslow’s theory by finding answers to these questions which are:

Physiological:

 Are our students’ basic needs being met, such as food, water and sleep?

Safety:

Do our students and their families feel safe and secure from Covid 19?

Love and Belonging:

Do our students feel a sense of belonging to their family, friends, class, school and community?

Esteem:

How is our students’ self-esteem, do they have the confidence to face challenges?

Self-Actualization:

Now our students can meet their full potential.

Let’s explore how we can address these questions

How do we begin a day?

When students are working at home, we can create a short daily video to say hello, or use a tool like Zoom—which has a virtual waiting room feature—to queue kids up and then welcome them to class one by one. Alternately, you can adapt the 5×5 strategy—in which a teacher spends 25 minutes talking to five students for five minutes each—using the phone or video meetings via Zoom or Google Meet. Once students are in the classroom, taking a few more minutes for a non-academic chat involving all students can build a sparkling community, while allowing us to know whether each student is emotionally prepared for academic work. Students might discuss things like a question of the day—what’s your favourite food? or If you could have a superpower, what would you pick?—before describing how they feel by naming their roses and thorns, or by dropping a simple thumbs-up, sideways thumb, or thumbs down into your chat feature.

How to use a social and emotional tool kit?

Enthusiastically starting a day is a good strategy for engaging learners in learning but we need to normalize emotions, find inner peace, and be socially connected throughout the day is matters in process of learning. Our tool kit for social and emotional strategies enabled us to check in with learners and support them to self-regulated, rejuvenate, and connect throughout the day.

Short Breaks:

If someone has an opinion that short breaks are a wastage of time, suggest them to research supporting breaks. Learners lose focus during the time of direct instructions especially at the elementary level it occurs after 10 minutes, so we need to plan in a way to avoid these shortfalls. Short lessons with breaks during lessons boost up the learners’ ability to stay on task. If learners are focused for a long period, try to move them from their places with a more intense kinetic break that works at home or in the classroom: like sharing a video of exercising or doing some by ourselves and ask them to switch on their cameras and follow it.

Focusing on Breathing:

 When kids are feeling restless, researchers recommend using focused attention practices to help them regain their calm. Try different ways of focusing on breathing, such as inhaling for four beats, holding for four, and then exhaling for four, or visualizing colours as students inhale and exhale—if a student is upset, for example, they might exhale red.

Incorporates Mindfulness Activities:

Research shows that these activities help to regulate the parts of the brain associated with the stress response, and is “associated with reduced levels of cortisol and other stress hormones” while positively influencing “the physiological indicators of an active stress response, like blood pressure and heart rate.” Mindfulness activities impact on learners shows clear changes in their behaviour like they become more confident and self-aware of their practices and varying needs. These activities decreased anxiety around academic work.

We may face pressure to focus on academics, but putting Maslow before Bloom isn’t antithetical to learning—research demonstrates that it’s a way to support better learning. Build a toolkit and use it judiciously throughout the day, following a read of our students. Using Maslow regularly will help them to Bloom.

By Kashfia Latafat

A researcher who loves to involve in collecting, organizing, and analyzing opinions and data to solve problems, explore issues, and predict trends.

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