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Emotional Intelligence and why it should be taught in the classroom

Are you Emotionally Intelligent? Do you take responsibility for your actions or examine how your actions will affect others…before you take those actions? If you are unable to move on after making a mistake and refuse criticism from others, maybe you need to start practicing self-awareness.

Developing emotional intelligence enables us to manage emotions effectively and avoid being derailed, for example, by a flash of anger. At the same time, It has been shown that children with higher emotional intelligence haver a longer concentration span, are more engaged in school, have more positive relationships, and are more empathetic, therefore it is a must that we incorporate emotional intelligence into the student’s course of study.

What exactly is EI?
It is the capacity to recognize, manage, and express emotions and the ability to perceive, understand, interpret, and respond to the emotions of others. EI enables us to confront our everyday problems with patience, insight, and imagination. EQ, or emotional quotient (the amount or level of emotional intelligence a person has), helps us navigate our interpersonal relationships judiciously and practice empathy. Having a high EQ enables us to handle the challenges we may encounter. In times of crisis, having this type of intelligence allows us to think rationally and temper our emotions with patience and understanding. We think before we act, practice good decision-making, and foster positive interpersonal relationships.

Why EI important in education and why it matters in our work with students and how to teach it.
In schools, it’s commonplace to talk about helping students develop empathy, resilience, and grit. It’s common that teachers encourage, motivate, and inspire learners. We impart knowledge through exploration of content, reading and reflection, experimentation and inquiry; we act as facilitators and guides for our students.

At school, we provide opportunities to practice the “soft skills” or “hidden curriculum” (implicit academic, social and cultural messages, or unwritten rules and unspoken expectations that students learn in school) to help students succeed both academically and socially. Thus, teaching students valuable competencies such as: self-awareness, active listening, patience (for self and others), and emotional control makes them more adept communicators but also allows for better learning, fosters authentic friendship, promotes academic success, and, in many cases, sets the stage for gainful employment and future independence.

Here some pictures of the last Erasmus Plus training provided by JUMP on Emotional Intelligence with teachers from Romania and Hungary.

Author: Catherine Perri – JUMP Trainer