In 2020, when the Covid-19 pandemic made the students leave classroomsthe Centro de Ensino Médio (CEM) Bom Jesus, in the municipality of Gurupi, Tocantins, created a way to continue accompanying and supporting students.
The Emotions Management project emerged as a school initiative to help maintain mental health. Through weekly online meetings, the program presented strategies on how to manage the thoughts positively, protect emotions and improve intellectual performance and interpersonal relationships.
Each meeting lasted about 50 minutes and had the participation of psychologist Elisandra Santiago, CEM Bom Jesus educational advisor, Maria Joana Portilho, and director Elizabeth Gama, who has a degree in pedagogy and a postgraduate degree in Youth and Adult Education (EJA), educational guidance and clinical neuropsychopedagogy. With the return of face-to-face classes, sessions began to be held in monthly meetings.
As a result of this welcome, the project was nominated to compete for the Unesco Associated Schools Network (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) program, which aims to “build the defenses of peace in the minds” of its students, according to the agency’s website. The program promotes the values and principles of the UNESCO Constitution and the Charter of the United Nations, which include fundamental rights and human dignity, gender equality, social progress, freedom, justice and democracy, respect for diversity and international solidarity.
“The Management of Emotions contributed to reflect on the pandemic moment that we are all experiencing. Our students were able to think about their attitudes as students, valuing moments in the classroom and socializing with colleagues, in addition to dealing better with social distancing” , says Elizabeth Gama.
“The project also helped us to obtain a positive result in the performance of the proposed activities, as the young people got more courage for achievement. Regarding the professional issue as a teacher, it was very positive for us to rethink our role as educators, managing the challenges of the pandemic and expanding our vision for the school community”, says the director.
For Beatriz Araújo Cirqueira, 18, a former student at CEM Bom Jesus, the meetings helped her deal with feelings she faced even before the pandemic.
“I entered school being a very depressed, explosive person with no life expectancy. Sometimes I arrived with a anguish huge and dull, but when I was greeted with a smile by the project staff, or even the other students, it changed my day. In the first few days, they talked about self-esteem and resilience and I felt that was all I was going through. Over time, I saw ways to improve those bad feelings I had inside me. I found my reason for living and how to know how to live”, says Beatriz.
Ana Flávia Alves Maia, 18, a third-year high school student, reports that, upon entering school, she felt alone and discouraged from studying, but that thanks to the initiative she got the support she needed.
“Every week there was a different theme and each one of them came to me in such a special way that all the insecurity, loneliness and fear I had disappeared. For me, it was what helped me the most in the distance learning part [ensino a distância] and to continue my studies. In addition, we also talk about bullyinga theme that really shook me in childhood, but with the Emotions Management I was able to re-signify and change my perspective, accepting more about my appearance”, says Ana.
For student Paulo Henrique Rodrigues Milhomens, 17, who is also in his third year of high school, the action promoted by the school was his main motivation to regain enthusiasm for studying and reconnecting with his family.
“Two topics addressed by the director caught my attention, which was motivation and happiness. In the pandemic, without being able to go to school and, consequently, far from my friends and teachers, I felt very alone and unmotivated with my studies. I felt sad most of the time, because I didn’t see any reason to be happy. But with the project I really saw that it wasn’t that, but that I was distant from everyone, including my parents. That’s when I managed to get closer to them again and happiness that I didn’t have came back to my face”, says Paulo Henrique.
CEM Bom Jesus is a school of high school integral, a multidimensional, public and free pedagogical proposal. Based on a teaching model that connects to the reality of young people and the development of their cognitive and socio-emotional skills, it proposes the integral formation of students. It works on pillars such as a life project, learning in practice, tutoring, youth protagonism, reception, study orientation and electives, which promote the complete formation of the student, along with the curricular components already provided for in the BNCC (Base Nacional Comum Curricular). It is present in around 4,301 schools across the country, involving almost 1 million students.
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