The second day of the webinar focussed on the importance and relevance of wellbeing in schools. This is because of the role of teachers now changing from being a repository of information and knowledge to that of a provider of wisdom and inspiration. To fulfil this, however, first teachers need to feel well, feel motivated and feel inspired. While much of the reforms in education have focussed on school curriculum and students, it’s time teachers take the centre stage.
Second, social and emotional learning (SEL) has to be integrated into the classical system of education. It is not a choice of either-or. Rather it should be a merger of the two. Meaning both the IQ and EQ have to be embraced.
In the real world, from my own experience running various organisations, employees rarely default on what they studied. Rather all issues I had to deal were HR related, such as insubordination, misuse of office property, false financial claims, ego trips, emotional outbursts etc. In short, all related to EQ and almost never concerning the IQ.
Therefore, as parental education decline (because parents are busy earning the livelihood) teachers have to take on the additional responsibility of making our children emotionally and socially intelligent.
It is, therefore, heartwarming to witness initiatives in recent years in this direction. Topics such as mindfulness, meditation and positive psychology have come into the discourse in the education system as well as in governance.
During this session my colleagues, Tshering Eudon and Karma Doma Tshering shared the experience of the ELC Schools in embracing the Educating for GNH Initiative in 2010 and then piloting the Four Pillars of Wellbeing Curriculum.
The stars of this session were the three students who have tried out the social and emotional learning and how they benefited.