The fACT approach can be used as a helper in education, offline and online. Throuhg it you can easily recognize atypical behavior, and find effective ways of interventions to it.
The fACT approach has its 6 components – Filing, Attention, Communication, Teamwork, Act and Fact. They are a no boundaries for applying them – either offline, or online – in classrooms, in kindergartens, in teams of companies, at home. Now we will discuss the use in education.
These 6 ellements applied together provide a sustainable foundation for developing social-emotional skills at home and in the school environment.
As we talk about the importance of the teacher to be able to practice these 6 important ellements, we should say that it is as important for the parent to learn to do so.
He is observing, filing and communicating and sharing with that child in a different environment… And to be able to help them build relationships in all the others environments and to model for him how to make healthy decisions – Every parent has this responsibility towards their child.
Paying attention is hard!
We need to know how to observe these children and their emotions – not only if they brought all the texbooks and notebooks in their schoolbacks. But to Observe them – in order to help them navigate these emotions in a way to create healthy and sustainable relationships between each other. We have to know when atypical behavior appears, and to react carefully and responsibly to it with an appropriate intevrention.
But to know the atypical behaviour, we first have to know what is their typical behavior. FILING helps a lot in following typical and atypical behaviours.
Paying attention to details in order to get to know others.
When Someone`s typical behavior repeats itself – this builds patterns. Patterns shape children as personalities. Patterns start to be built since early childhood.
When we observe – we can see when there is a pattern that can be a problematic. A problematic pattern can spread in the environment like a virus, if we don
t see it in time, and if we don`t do anything to stop it.
But when we observe – we know when a problematic pattern occurs. And our intervention is easier. It can include –
- Paying attention to a discussion about this pattern of behaviour
- Discussing the costs and the benefits of this pattern – individually – but also in the group.
- Taking into consideration which is more – costs or benefits
- Exclude it if you agree it is a negative pattern of behaviour
- Find alternatives – together.
Observation – helps us see when we have a positive pattern as well. Intervention here is also very important:
- We should pay attention to it – to discuss it in the group
- We can measure the costs and benefits as well
- And if everyone in the group agrees it is a positive pattern – it should stay as the good example for everyone.
Of course, Paying attention helps us to follow how these patterns develop in time for our envioronment. Patterns are needed – to feel safe – but even a positive pattern – stops working at some point. To see where this point is – we have to know very well our envioronment. And to communicate with participants – wether a pattern – is no longer serving us well for the healthy climate of our group.
You realize that our observations are much more effective when they are visible and collected. If we put our effort on writing down observations in simple forms, like emotional diaries – and collect them – we gather information for every child in our group/class.
This is a thing the parent at home should also do – because it is an observation of the child in a different envioronment, in different circumstances. It is information – from every part of the child life – because all of this forms the WHOLE envioronment.
The child envioronment does not last from 8 am to 6 pm… The envioronment includes everything that the child experiences through the whole day. And night.
Part of the envioronment are parents, because they teach their children to behave in a certain way, and also their friends, relatives, because they change what they`ve learnt with their attitude. The envioronment is complex thing – it includes every person who is the child communicating with. So – teachers file their observations in school – but parents – can observe everything else… and file the gathered information from their observations.
This really makes the envioronment rich – and full of challenges. Because it does not depend only on us. It is something that works dependently on everyone – so observation is our biggest and most important tool – to be able to follow the changes when they happen and to respond meaningfully, instead of just to react impulsively .
This information we all collected – can be an issue for discussion with other members of the envioronment – with the purpose to really do the best for the education and development of every child. To have these discussions between every adult in a child`s life – not when there is a problem – but in order – NOT TO HAVE PROBLEMS. This requires efforts in building the habbit to communicate – constantly, responsibly, with an open heart. To listen to each other – not to respond – but to hear. To be able to search for sollutions – together.
To take the necessary time for discussing identified problems and case studies between the parent and teacher/parents and teachers. When is appropriate, the child/children can also be included in these discussions – not for edification purposes – but to reassure them that we are there to support them and have a common mission related to their well-being.
This really means..
And Collaboration is essential to happen between adults – to be a good example for children, too. Then they will know it is not only theory – that they should work in team. They will know it is effective and necessary – because they would have seen it from the trusted adults in their lives.
Collaboration must be at all levels of a child`s envioronment:
- Policies for mutual help and support among teachers and parents
- Social-emotional skills training
- Trainings for personality development
- SEL meetings with parents
- SEL meetings with parents and children
- Meetings between teachers, for discussing case studies and exchange of experiences
- Enforcement of policies
- Synchronous in strategies and reactions regarding case studies with children
- Social-emotional skills training
- Trainings for personality development
- Meetings for discussing case studies
- Support and development of social, cognitive and emotional skills in school and family environment
Digitally is harder – but not impossible
We take into account the fact that in a classroom – monitoring students is far easier than in a digital form of learning. But as educators – you know very well that here we are not only talking about observing whether the child is looking out the window or at the back desk, but about the appearance of atypical behavior that can be seen in the manner of issuing homework, for example, or in test response. The good thing is that if the above activities seem suitable for you to implement and you are willing to do it – you will provide yourself with enough interactions through which you can exercise quality and thorough observation of the children you work with – even digitally. And that’s great. Because the documented observation is an opportunity to discuss problem cases with the purpose of quality intervention. Which is your noblest mission to the children in your classroom with an healthy intention for their future.
A tool for filing the observations – DARE FRAMEWORK.
We would appreciate it if you could give us some feedback if you have applied these techniques and what results they gave. You can write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you need help and additional consulting:
You can always contact us on +359885217714 in case you want more specific consulting regarding the topic of social-emotional learning.
Our internationally certified practitioner Polina Kotseva – provides consultations to teaching teams, classes in schools, groups in kindergarten, parents, etc., for the development of emotional intelligence and social skills. They are suitable:
- in supporting the complete or partial integration of approaches and methods of Social-emotional learning;
- when problematic and complex cases occur – aggression, depression, demotivation, addictions, etc., requiring objective external intervention by a professional in social-emotional development;
- In supporting educators in creating a caring and healthy learning climate with social-emotional learning technique