Nurturing Emotional Resilience: The Role of Teaching Assistants at Doha College

Ruth Whymark

Senior Vice Principal - Head of Primary, Doha College

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In an ever-changing world, the importance of emotional literacy and support for students cannot be overstated. At Doha College, a beacon of educational excellence in Qatar, the commitment to holistic student development extends beyond academics. Under the guidance of educational psychologists, Teaching Assistants (TAs) are being trained to provide Emotional Literacy Support Assistance (ELSA) to students. This initiative not only promotes emotional well-being but also equips young learners with essential life skills. In this blog post, we will explore the invaluable work of these dedicated TAs and the positive impact they are making on the Doha College community.

Understanding Emotional Literacy

Emotional literacy, often referred to as emotional intelligence, involves recognizing, understanding, managing, and effectively using emotions. It plays a pivotal role in a student’s overall development, affecting their academic performance, social interactions, and future success. By fostering emotional literacy, schools like Doha College aim to create well-rounded individuals who are better equipped to navigate life’s challenges.

The Role of Educational Psychologists

The cornerstone of the ELSA program at Doha College is the guidance provided by educational psychologists. These experts bring a deep understanding of child development, psychology, and counseling techniques to the table. They collaborate with TAs to design customized support plans for students who may be facing emotional challenges, ensuring that the assistance provided is both effective and sensitive to individual needs.

The Training of Teaching Assistants

Teaching Assistants at Doha College undergo specialized training to become ELSA providers. This training equips them with the necessary skills to:

  1. **Identify Emotional Needs:** TAs learn to recognize signs of emotional distress in students. Whether it’s anxiety, low self-esteem, or difficulties in managing anger, TAs are trained to spot these issues early on.
  2. **Build Trust and Rapport:** Establishing trust is paramount in any supportive relationship. TAs learn how to create a safe and nurturing environment where students feel comfortable sharing their feelings and concerns.
  3. **Effective Communication:** Effective communication is key to providing emotional support. TAs are trained to listen actively, ask open-ended questions, and provide empathetic responses to help students express themselves.
  4. **Applying Strategies:** TAs are equipped with a toolbox of strategies and techniques to help students manage their emotions. These strategies may include relaxation exercises, mindfulness activities, and problem-solving skills.

The Impact on Students

The presence of trained TAs offering ELSA support has had a profound impact on students at Doha College:

  1. **Improved Emotional Well-being:** Students who receive ELSA support report feeling more emotionally secure and better equipped to handle life’s challenges.
  2. **Enhanced Academic Performance:** Emotionally stable students tend to perform better academically. They are more focused, motivated, and engaged in their studies.
  3. **Stronger Social Skills:** ELSA support also promotes healthier social interactions, helping students build better relationships with peers and teachers.
  4. **Preparation for Life:** Emotional literacy is a life skill that extends beyond the classroom. Students who receive ELSA support are better prepared to face the emotional complexities of adulthood.

The work of Teaching Assistants trained to provide Emotional Literacy Support Assistance at Doha College is a testament to the College’s commitment to holistic student development. Under the guidance of educational psychologists, these TAs are making a lasting impact on the emotional well-being and future success of their students. By equipping young learners with the tools to navigate their emotions, Doha College is not only shaping academically proficient individuals but also nurturing emotionally resilient citizens who are well-prepared to thrive in the world beyond the classroom.


29 September 2023