LOCAL psychologist Reveni Aheer is training Wembley teachers who teach from Grade RRRR to Grade 3 about how to use a practical “hands-on” approach to emotional intelligence in the classroom. Teachers learnt that children need to learn how to name the emotion they are feeling in order to tame it; “Name it to tame it!” Children can get very overwhelmed by their feelings and, when this happens, they can make some poor choices with their behaviour. We are committed to helping children in our care to learn coping mechanisms and help them to become happy, emotionally intelligent people. Teachers begun EQ sessions this week and the first theme is growing calmness. Here, teachers are focusing on mindful breathing and finding inner calmness. This calmness helps when children are scared, angry or sad. This is all about emotional regulation and how to delay an emotional response until the child can make good behavioural choices. Teachers would like children to respond and not react, which involves a considered response to a situation. The teachers have put “Calm Corners” in each junior primary classroom. These corners are places where a child can be guided into a safe emotional space. When a child is emotionally upset, they are unable to engage the pre-frontal cortex (the CEO of the brain). The calm corners allow them the space to self soothe until they are back “online” and able to engage and learn. According to leading SA teacher Gavin Keller, the optimal conditions for learning are:• Movement and brain breaks• A full, relaxed stomach• A happy heart — there are 40 000 neurons in the heart• A calm brain stem (this is the part responsible for fight/flight/freeze)• A sense of connection and belonging from the limbic system (controls the basic emotions)• The pre-frontal cortex needs to be alert and “online”.When there is an overload of stimuli, the brain is no longer capable of calm thought. Remaining calm enables children to be better problem solvers and to be able to learn from one another. Wembley would like to thank Aheer for all her valuable, meaningful input into this vital area of our pupils’ development. Wembley continues to educate, nurture and inspire pupils to be individuals where they can learn, create, grow and flourish. — Supplied.