Saturday, August 13, 2016

Back to School and Emotional Intelligence in the Classroom

                      

   It is almost time for back to school. As a teacher, during the first few days you might have seen some of these things happen. One kid is staring out the window at other friends playing, and then jumps up and down and howls. Another learner angrily scribbles a note to a friend.  A student looks anxiously around the classroom. What is happening here? Well, it could be time to involve your students in emotional intelligence (EI) skills.

                                                       What is EI? 

It's  the capability of being able to understand your own emotions and those of others around you. EI is being able to find solutions to problems or situations in a calm manner. With EI, a person is able to keep his or her own emotions in check and thoughts in perspective. Developing empathy and compassion for others is paramount. 

The EI teaching method is one technique used in the classroom. This form of instruction is similar to psychotherapy (Joyce, Weil & Calhoun, 2009).  Conflict resolution skills prepare children to be accountable for their deeds, as students talk about their feelings without fear in teacher-led conversations (Detroit Public Television and Mort Crim Communications, 2003). The class members learn to understand other peoples' feelings. A student learns to first think and pause before making a statement or pursuing an action. 


In a class that supports EI, the teacher is a mentor that establishes rules, such as not to say unkind things, and to allow others to talk and explain their feelings. Students discuss their version of any events and consider other kid's approaches in solving skirmishes. The teacher uses questioning, and reflective comments while students conduct themselves in a levelheaded manner. The teacher praises them for their efforts in problem solving (Detroit Public Television and Mort Crim Communications, 2003). 

What is  known as the growth syndrome encourages EI (Joyce, Weil & Calhoun, 2009).  

 (1) each student talks about reactions to a situation
 (2) the conversation heightens understanding of student events
(3) this discussion improves future classmate encounters 
(4) acquires new student inclinations 
   These daily discussions allows students' EI  to expand and a bond is created with the teacher. Students are not only inspired to learn. As instructors recognize and take account of student’s responses and sentiments, learners begin to develop socially, emotionally and academically  (Detroit Public Television and Mort Crim Communications, 2003).     

  Above all, students need to know that their feelings are important. They need to be aware that they shouldn't have to manage every conflict and concern all on their own. In an ideal classroom, students focus on studying, learning new things, expressing their thoughts tactfully, and how to handle themselves with their peers. 

For more information about EI
Case for EI in Schools
http://www.6seconds.org/pdf/case_for_EQ_school.pdf

Imagery supplied by Thinkstock.com

References

Joyce, B., Weil, M., & Calhoun, E. (2009). Models of teaching (8th ed). Pearson Education, Inc.

Detroit Public Television and Mort Crim Communications. (2003). Feelings count, emotions and learning. Retrieved  from http//www.learner.org/courses/learningclassroom session_overivew/emotion_home5.html

Psychology Today. (2016).Emotional intelligence. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/basics/emotional-intelligence

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