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  • Tijana Coso

Tapping as a Technique for Social Emotional Learning in Schools




In an ideal classroom setting, students would leave their worries at the door alongside their backpacks as they step into a space conducive to learning. However, the reality is far from this utopian vision. Issues from home, conflicts in relationships, anxiety over assignments or exams, and broader concerns from the world beyond the school gates often accompany students throughout their day. This persistent background noise of stress undermines their ability to concentrate on academics, hindering their potential for success.
 
When students are grappling with the weight of stress and anxiety, it becomes challenging for them to fully engage with their studies, let alone excel. According to a study conducted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which was published in the American Medical Health Association’s journal JAMA Pediatrics, the prevalence of anxiety diagnoses among children aged 3 to 17 increased by 29% between 2016 and 2020. This begs the question: How can we expect students to absorb and retain knowledge when their minds are clouded by external pressures?
 
School serves not only as an academic institution but also as a crucial environment where children learn vital life skills. Here, they navigate relationships, resolve conflicts, and develop coping mechanisms for stressful situations. Consequently, teachers and school administrators shoulder a significant responsibility beyond merely imparting traditional subjects. They are tasked with nurturing students into well-rounded individuals equipped to thrive in their communities.
 
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a surge in initiatives across federal, state, and individual school levels aimed at prioritizing Social Emotional Learning. SEL equips students with the tools to identify and regulate their emotions, enhance their understanding of others, communicate effectively, foster empathy, cultivate meaningful relationships, and make sound decisions. By integrating SEL into education, students gain invaluable skills such as emotional regulation, effective communication, problem-solving, decision-making, and self-control, leading to a deeper understanding of themselves and their peers.
 
One groundbreaking tool for Social Emotional Learning are Emotional Freedom Techniques, also known as Tapping, which is an effective self-regulation and somatic healing technique that involves gently tapping specific points on the face and upper body while verbalizing one's emotions in response to the issue at hand.
 
After more than a decade of teaching others about Tapping, I have developed Functional Tapping, a simplified version of the technique. It's designed to be easily replicable, enabling school staff to quickly learn and teach it to their students.
 
So, how does Functional Tapping benefit schools? It serves as a stress and anxiety relief technique that teachers can employ to help students maintain calmness and focus in the classroom. By learning to regulate their emotions, students become better equipped to engage in learning. For guidance counselors and special education teachers, Functional Tapping offers a valuable tool to help students manage their emotions and refocus on academic tasks, ultimately enhancing their classroom performance and overall well-being.
 
I provide education nationwide to school staff, counselors, therapists, and various professionals about Tapping. On my website, www.TheTappingProject.com, you can find resources about Tapping and numerous academic articles highlighting the benefits of Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT).
 
Additionally, my YouTube channel offers a range of Tapping videos, including a helpful tutorial on using Tapping for Test Anxiety
 
Should you have questions or would like to set up a time to talk about inviting me to your school, please feel free to email me at Tap@TheTappingProject.com.
 
By fostering emotional intelligence and resilience, schools not only prepare students for academic success but also equip them with the tools necessary to navigate life's challenges beyond the classroom walls. SEL equips students with essential life skills, enabling them to navigate emotional complexities, foster empathy, and make informed decisions. Functional Tapping contributes to creating classroom environments conducive to learning and growth by empowering educators with accessible tools to address stress and anxiety so that every student can thrive emotionally, academically, and personally.
 
 
 
 
Works Cited
 
Lebrun-Harris LA, Ghandour RM, Kogan MD, Warren MD. Five-Year Trends in US Children’s Health and Well-being, 2016-2020. JAMA Pediatr. 2022;176(7):e220056. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2022.0056
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