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Emotional Intelligence

Emotional Intelligence An Article summarising Emotional Intelligence and reasons for developing it in the classroom.

Any emotion, if it is sincere, is involuntary. 
Mark Twain

Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words. 
Robert Frost

Emotion: what is emotional intelligence and how can it impact on learning standards? 

This is a Free Sample Resource
Categories: Article, Leadership, Other Subject, PSHE, All Ages, Educators

Tags: Emotional Intelligence
You can’t help what you feel but you can help what you do about it. That, in fifteen words, is emotional intelligence. Energy is better spent expressing emotion appropriately than denying or ignoring it. Feelings are inevitable so instead of fighting, become aware and understand.

Now then, was that opening paragraph directed at you, the educator, or at them, your pupils? It’s both of course because just as classroom relationships are the foundation of successful learning, so emotional intelligence is a cornerstone of successful relationships. Your ‘emotional leadership’ is contingent therefore upon classroom success.

Some emotions are powerful allies for learning. They can engage, inspire and motivate as well as offer potent memory prompts. Others cause stress and boredom and make minds go blank. It’s a matter of which ones and how much. Educators need to craft the emotions of their classrooms as much as they do the subject knowledge.

Our senses feed information to our brains which use past experience and higher order thinking to ponder what to do about it. There’s usually a delay – from seconds to days depending on how much pondering we choose to do. However some sensations bypass the thinking part and cause a direct near-instantaneous body action. It’s snakes for some people, spiders for others. The side-stepped thinking eventually kicks in so we can rationalise and assimilate the intense experience. 

Some children do a lot of side-stepping, especially in the playground. Their life experience has set their brains to quick reflex rather than quiet reflection. They hit or speak first then think later. Usually during the next playtime or after school.

Some adults do too much reflecting, especially in the staffroom. Their educational experience has set their brains to critic rather than collaborator. They keep their feelings under wraps or maybe smouldering away until the next training day.

The wholesome, honest, intelligent and forgiving expression of human emotion is a healthy sign, especially in schools. Therefore a theoretical and practical understanding of emotion should be part of all curricula from EYFS to university and on into the workplace. 

Related Resources:

Happiness and Learning



Tips for Emotional Intelligence

Wasting Valuable Learning Time


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