Reflecting Allowed

Maha Bali’s blog about education

Navigating Emotional Triggers in the Classroom 

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This is was my first semester teaching a course with a citizenship component, and several times (not many, but not zero), we touched on topics that triggered someone emotionally. Now I only know this because one student mentioned it later on a blog comment. Based on that, I decided to anticipate emotional responses, and to discuss with students who may be affected ahead of time; yet still, in another instance,  a student almost cried in class.

I’m equipped to deal with emotions privately. I wasn’t equipped to deal with it in a class. And i should have been.

How do we create spaces, or co-construct safe spaces w our learners so we all feel safe expressing emotion?

Should we offer trigger warnings? Or tell students they can give signals when when they’re triggered and choose to leave the room or remain silent instead of speaking? 

How have others dealt with this? 

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