I stumbled across an intriguing website, EQ.org, and found myself cheering! This site offers educators an opportunity to improve their own EQ (emotional quotient/intelligence) and that of their students. In fact, it’s hard to imagine teaching students to improve their social emotional intelligence without having a grasp on it yourself.
The inspirED educator toolbox offers three modules on becoming an EQ educator. The module on improving classroom EQ is particularly interesting, including topics such as how to reduce boredom in the classroom and assessing the emotional climate of your class. All their practical suggestions seem congruent with the latest neuroscience findings on how kids learn best. For those teachers who are already aware of brain-friendly strategies, these modules are a great reminder to USE them. I need those reminders myself! The EQ site also offer links to several other free courses on improving your understanding of social emotional learning.
It’s been years since researchers validated what we know intuitively: kids with better relationship and emotional skills are more likely to succeed, regardless of their intellectual prowess. In “The Case for Emotional Intelligence in Our Schools,” Joshua Freedman writes: Several organizations have emerged to help schools and organizations implement emotional intelligence and social-emotional learning programs, including The Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL), The George Lucas Educational Foundation (GLEF), The Center for Social Emotional Learning, CSEE, and Six Seconds, The Emotional Intelligence Network.
Six Seconds, the parent organization behind EQ.org, has a stated goal of “working toward one billion people practicing emotional intelligence.” They offer certification in their methodology, an online store for materials (and kid-friendly games), training for organizations, scholarships, and grants. As schools struggle to eliminate the racial achievement gap, this type of intervention could prove effective. Schools should be a safe place for kids of all races.