Emotional Intelligence

By Quashawn Chadwick, Jackson Middle School

Today I discovered that if I make developing emotional intelligence the focus of my group class lessons with students who are often more rambunctious, it helps us in three ways: It helps calm the students and get them focused, it helps prepare them for deeper discussion, and it creates a more positive atmosphere for us all to learn.

I facilitate the development of emotional intelligence through the use of short films that demonstrate some human emotion. Today the focus was sadness. The students are deeply emotional, but can't always tell why they're feeling so. If you show students a short, sad film, they see the film and understand it makes them sad and why, after a while, they start to make these associations themselves. They discover, as it were, what it means to feel sad. The fact that they're sad from a film means they don't feel any less safe. With this controlled sadness in a controlled space the students get a more holistic view of that emotion. They respond to it better, and this introspection opens them up to deal with more serious topics. It doesn't have to be sadness at all. In fact, all of the emotions need a chance to be developed and inspected.

September 25, 2017