Emotional Awareness

The Lost&Found ‘Emotional Awareness Training’ (EAT) session might not take the pain away, but we have seen how this session has helped many Educators to:

  • Make sense of their loss-experience.
  • Understand their own situations better.
  • Ultimately have more empathy for others.
  • Resulting in a change of attitude toward learners due to a better understanding of how loss affects them too.

The training sessions allows time for Educators to:

  • Reflect on their emotions and reactions related to the losses in their lives.
  • Talk about the impact of the loss-experiences on their lives.
  • Assess the effect this loss-experience has had on:
    • their vision of the future.
    • relationships (personal and professional).
    • their financial abilities/circumstances.
    • attitude at/toward work and their general attitude towards learners. 
    • be equipped with emotional vocabulary, which enables them to express what they are feeling, as well as understand their emotions better.
    • understand the normal grief-process and different stages related to grief.

What impact has EAT had in schools?

After noticing how loss affected their own lives and attitudes, Educators have also developed insight into the pain-based behaviour of learners.

A teacher of mathematics (for 20 years) said: “After realising the impact that loss can have, I went to the principal and said I thought it necessary that the disciplinary code of the school is re-examined, since it only punished learners without looking at better ways to assist them in dealing with their pain. Luckily I am part of the Disciplinary Committee, and we will change how we operate.”

Another teacher commented: “I don’t think I can ever treat these kids in the same way. It’s almost like I feel a fatherly responsibility to see to it that they do well in class, and achieve their best. They’ve had tougher lives than us, so I feel it my responsibility to help them!”

A Principal said: “After Lost&Found I have much more understanding for my own life, and others. The insights and understanding I have for the lives of my staff will help me to also be a better manager of people.”

“In 20 years of teaching I’ve never experienced the learners in the way that I did during the lesson – now I have a better understanding of what’s going on in their lives.”

“I’ve been able to look deep into the lives of our learners…they really need our support.”

We can summarise the reaction of educators and learners as follows:

  • Educators benefited from the time to reflect on things that happened in their lives.
  • Educators developed a deep sense of awareness for the learners and their respective circumstances, as well as empathy and sensitivity.
  • Learners reacted positively to the “caring” element they experienced from educators.

“It’s really good to be able to talk to your colleagues about what’s really going on in your life. It’s like a burden has been lifted.”

If you would like to make useof the Lost&Found program to contribute toward building emotionally healthy people, allowing them to live as spirited contributors to their respective communities and our country, please contact us at upnover@telkomsa.net.