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The teacher's level of EQ is by far the single most important variable in creating a classroom where EI can be developed healthily. And the single most important variable in the teacher's EQ is how they handle their own emotions, especially their negative emotions. An effective, successful teacher is largely one who can handle his or her negative feelings in an authentic, real and healthy way.
Here is an outline I have prepared to help you.
I. MANAGING YOUR OWN EMOTIONS
A. Identify Your Feelings
- Ask yourself: How am I feeling? - Answer using three word sentences beginning with "I feel..." - Label your feelings, not your children (or situation)
B. Take Responsibility for Them (Own them)
- Don't blame the children for your feelings - Owning your feelings means not thinking in terms of: You are making me angry You kids are driving me crazy - Remember that there is a little space between stimulus and response, and in this space lies your power to choose your reaction. Don't give away this power.
** If your kids are in charge of your emotions, you are in trouble!
C. Use Your Emotional Awareness to Learn About Yourself
- Your negative feelings reveal your unmet emotional needs. For example:
If you feel You need to feel
Disrespected Respected Disobeyed Obeyed Out of control In control
But remember that the children are not there to meet your needs, you are there to meet theirs. Thus, you must either get your needs met somewhere else, or you must "let go" of some of your needs, such as your need to have so much control, or to feel obeyed. And remember that respect is something you earn, not demand. The easiest way to do this is to show respect for each individual childs feelings, and remember his negative feelings are indications of unment emotional needs. The more help the child identify and meet the needs, the happier everyone will be.
D. Work on Keeping Your Area of Acceptance Wide Open (1)
- When you feel good about yourself you are more - accepting - tolerant - patient - understanding - predictable
====> This helps your students feel - Accepted - Approved of - Secure - Relaxed - Good about themselves
====> These contribute to healthy self-esteem, openness to learn and willingness to cooperate
* Remember that Emotions are Contagious *
II. HELPING YOUR STUDENTS FEEL BETTER THROUGH INCREASED EQ
A. Help them label their feelings - Teach them a wide range of feeling words - Start expressing your feelings - Start talking about feelings
B. Give them real choices - Honor their decisions - Don't issue orders in disguise as requests - Ask them to help you meet your needs; don't demand it
C. Respect their feelings - Ask them how they feel - Ask them how they would feel before taking action - Think about how you want them to feel - what feelings create a positive learning environment
D. Validation - Accept their feelings - Show understanding, empathy, caring and concern - Whenever there is a problem remember to always first validate the feelings
E. Empower them - Ask them how they feel and "What would help you feel better" - Teach them to solve their own problems using empathy, compassion and mutual respect for each other's feelings
F. Avoid Labels and Judgment - Avoid "shoulds" - Avoid subjective labels (good/bad; nice/rude, etc.)
Here are some traits of a positive learning environment:
Safe-- Free from fear of physical, psychological or emotional pain and abuse. Free from threats, force, punishment, coercion, manipulation, pressure, stress, intimidation, humiliation, embarrassment, invalidation.
Free -- Students have real choices. Participation in activities and lessons is voluntary.
Respectful -- Students and teachers respect each other's feelings, emotional needs, beliefs, values and uniqueness.
Individual/Supportive/Nurturing -- Students are treated individually. Their individual needs, talents, potential and interests are supported.
Emotionally Intelligent -- Feelings are valued, discussed, validated. EI is part of the formal and informal curriculum.
Relevant/Meaningful/Practical -- Material helps students with real problems in their lives. Life skills, relationship skills and parenting skills are taught.
Empathetic & Caring -- Students and teachers care about each others feelings.
Interesting/Stimulating -- The material and the environment stimulate the student's natural curiosity and need to learn.
Flexible -- Changes are made frequently, easily and smoothly.
First, please read the general section on Conflict Resolution, then return here for more tips. (Sorry to ask you to jump around.)
Setting up the atmosphere
During the process:
At the end of the session:
Top Ten Suggestions
|1. Label your feelings rather than your students||"I am feeling
impatient", rather than "You are such a
"I am confused about why you aren't doing your work," rather than "You are just being lazy."
|2. Express your emotions rather issuing commands||I am afraid you will hurt yourself
I am afraid your tapping might distract the others.
I feel bad when I see you take things from others without asking. And I am afraid you might lose their friendship.
I feel uncomfortable with .....
|3. Learn to take responsibility for your own feelings rather than blame them on your students.||Say, "I am feeling
overwhelmed and out of control" rather "You are
driving me crazy."
"I felt embarrassed when the principal was here," rather than "You embarrassed me in front of the principal."
|4. Remember that respect is earned, not demanded||Show the students respect by following the guidelines in the respect page|
|5. Never invalidate a student.||See invalidation page.|
|6. Apologize when you feel regret for something.||I feel bad for....I am sorry I ....|
|7. Encourage students to express their feelings with feeling words.||Frequently ask how students feel
literacy guidelines of 3
Help them find the most accurate, most precise "feeling words."
|8. Seek voluntary cooperation rather than issuing commands.||"Would you help me out by keeping your voice down?"|
|9. Help student's resolve their own conflicts.||See conflict resolution in school.|
|10. First validate the student' s feeling before addressing their behavior.||"It looks like
you are feeling a little restless today."
"It looks like you really don't want to come inside.
(1) From Thomas Gordon's work