All emotions matter! What we do with those emotions matters as well. We need to help students understand that feelings are neither right nor wrong it is what we do with those feelings that truly matter.
If we want to teach students how to regulate their emotions then we too need to be able to regulate our own emotions. Modelling how we feel is important for students. If we are not afraid to admit when we are angry, frustrated or sad and we handle those emotions in an appropriate way , the students will learn how to do that as well. Being open and honest about how we feel in a respectful manner is great modelling for students and other educators.
Marc Brackett , director of Yale Centre for Emotional Intelligence and expert in social emotional learning has developed an acronym RULER for emotional skills that is helpful for educators:
R– recognizing emotions in yourself and others
U- understanding the causes of your emotions
L- labelling your emotions
E- expressing emotions
R- regulating emotions
Educators and School Counsellors can and do make a difference in promoting the wellbeing and emotional intelligence of students. When we put ourselves in a childs shoes we may be more compassionate to how they are feeling. What is it like to be them? Could they be experiencing a roller coaster of emotions and how does this impact them , their feelings and their learning?
Sesame Street has some great videos that explain feelings and teaches students about emotional regulation. Here is a good example:
Emotional Regulation Resources for educators :
The Mood Meter App cost of 1.39 cents
Helping students with mixed emotions:
Teaching students to have meta moments.
One of the best strategies we used when my daughter was a teenager was for her and I to agree that when we were angry with each other or when our emotions were running high we would agree to back off and give each other space and discuss things the next day. Each of us would signal the other that it was ok to discuss when we were both more level-headed. I would call these mega moments. This strategy saved our relationship in those emotional years.
Yes , it does begin with me. Being a lifelong learner I hope to be able to fully understand emotional regulation by reading the newest research so that I can best help myself, my students and my family.
What are some of the best strategies you use as educators, parents and School Counsellors?