My Readers in Last 30 Days:My Readers in Last 30 Days

About Teaching Emotional Competencies

As a global growth hacker for over nine years, I know that consistently achieving major new growth requires a holistic approach to the marketing, sales and business practices of a company – and constant learning.

Therefore, I’m always looking for new insights about learning, so I am very pleased when I encounter learning professionals like Marjo Sate, experienced Finnish teacher with a vision.

I have interviewed her for a several insightful articles about learning. Today we’re talking about more some ideas she has about the future of education.

Christian Dillstrom


Learning is extremely important. I have heard that you’re interested in teaching social and emotional competencies. What does that have to do with learning?
Emotions are the most important aspect of learning. They can both boost and hinder the learning process. Negative feelings and thoughts block learning whereas positive feelings and thoughts enhance learning.

This should always be taken into account in any lesson.

In fact, dealing with emotions should be the number one issue in our schools. Healthy relationships between the pupils, teachers and parents establish grounds for peace and harmony for our communities to thrive.

That sounds interesting. But how did you come up with that approach?
My original idea was to tackle violence in schools. I soon realized that focusing on violence prevention was like concentrating on rubbing an aching tummy instead of considering what have I eaten to be in pain in the first place.

I don’t think measures taken to prevent violence are wrong. On the contrary. I just think that we need a more holistic and a sustainable approach.

There are no school subjects to that. Where do you find the time for teaching those skills since there are no special subjects in the curriculum, at least in your country?

Well, the new curricular guidelines introduced in 2016 actually cover social and emotional competencies as life skills.

They should be given a bigger role in everyday school life. We should be systematically teaching emotions and especially their language, the vocabulary of emotions.

For me, as a language teacher, one of the most fascinating aspects of learning a new language is that it opens up new ways of thinking. 

We can turn our unique ways of thinking into fascinating life paths. Just by connecting our logical thinking consciously with our emotional brain.

When we are able to name an emotion, express what we feel, those emotions and feelings exist in our realities. Hence, we need to teach children how to learn to perceive and express their emotions.

Oftentimes we mix emotions with thoughts.Therefore it is important to learn to differentiate between what we are feeling and what we are thinking. This way we can perceive and regulate emotions better.


Well, that was interesting! Thank you Marjo and I hope I can soon interview you again about learning.