Dr. Jose Parappully, the Director of Sumedha Centre, facilitated a Workshop for the teachers of St. Theresa Senior Secondary School, Kathogdam, Nainital, on 29-30, June.
There were about seventy teachers participating in the Workshop divided into two groups for each day, high school teachers on the first and the primary teachers on the seconond.
Dr. Parappully organised the Workshop around the theme “Education of the Heart: Becoming an Emotionally Sensitive Teacher.” Starting with Howard Gardner’s theory of Multiple Intelligence, the Workshop used the concepts of basic emotional needs from Self Determination Theory and the concepts of Mirroring, Idealising, Narcissistic Wounding and Empathic Responsiveness from Self Psychology to help the teachers look at the level of their emotional sensitivity and provided tools and approaches to enhance it.
On the second day, as most of the teachers were dealing with very young children, he gave greater importance to attachment dynamics and styles as presented in Bowlby’s Attachment Theory, and emphasised the need for teachers to be available, responsive and helpful to children’s emotional needs, so that they can develop secure attachments that will help them to explore their environment with confidence and develop as competent persons.
He used videos and songs related to the themes to deepen the participants awareness and insights and provided them time for introspection and interaction. He also used meditation practices and Vedic mantras to help teachers learn to distress.
In their feedback, the teachers observed that they found the Workshop very useful, describing it as very “effective, inspiring, and enjoyable.” It helped them, they said, to become “more sensitive and responsive” to the students’ needs, and has created in them greater awareness of the impact their words and behaviour have on students. They found the Workshop a “a confidence building exercise” in preparation for the new academic term they begin on July 2.