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"Understanding Emotional Literacy: A Vital Skill for Educators"

We can all agree that there are educators who have made a remarkable imprint on our lives. Some may have been exceptional in their respective subjects, while others may have inspired us with their constant support and motivation. Whether it was their funny stories or encouraging spirit, these teachers left a lasting impact on us because they could connect with us emotionally and tap into our emotional intelligence. They had mastered emotional literacy.


Emotional literacy, also known as intelligence, pertains to the ability to comprehend and handle emotions constructively. It involves recognizing our emotions and those of others and utilizing this awareness to shape our thoughts, behaviors, and relationships. For educators, this translates into forming connections, with students managing their emotions effectively and fostering a safe and positive learning environment.


The Benefits

Build the child's confidence.

A minor sensitivity towards students' needs can be a huge game changer for the child's learning. It's agreeable; sometimes, it's hard to understand the emotional needs of students due to a heavy workload and busy schedule, but a little compassion can always go a long way. The compassion stays forever with the child, can help shape their future interaction with others, and even have an optimistic outlook on life.


Rational and supportive solution.

In today's world, children face many age-related challenges. It could be their pet that passed away or some student who happened to be rude to them. They are not experienced enough to handle such emotions and may unknowingly vent them out to you. It would only take emotional literacy and a few minutes from the educator to ensure they are heard, and their feelings are validated. This means the educator can calmly 'hold space' for the child to express their emotions without anger and judgment and, in turn, provide a rational and supportive solution.


Lasting Impact

As many have already said, and it's worth repeating, the influence of a good educator is almost immortalized—it cannot be erased. Someone who is knowledgeable and emotionally intelligent can be seen as a beacon of light in our lives for a long time, leading us toward positivity and true happiness. They truly enlighten us in ways that cannot be erased.


Training

Being a part of training programs can be a game changer, especially when understanding learners. It enables the seamless development of emotional skills for educators and prepares them to incorporate them into their daily teaching practices.


Learn from a colleague.

Sometimes, all it takes is asking for a colleague's experiences to enhance our understanding and application of Emotional competencies. We all, at some point, become better by observing others around us.


Practice Reflection

A simple act of self-reflection is a pillar of Emotional literacy. It's as simple as imagining yourself in your students' shoes. From there, start asking questions. The discovery is often eye-opening as you understand your strengths and biases from an educator's perspective. Afterward, you can alter practices with rationality and empathy.


References:

Hen, M., & Sharabi‐Nov, A. (2014). Teaching the teachers: emotional intelligence training for teachers. Teaching Education, 25, 375 - 390. https://doi.org/10.1080/10476210.2014.908838.

 
Meet The Author

Sheika Petteway, Chief ENCOURAGING Officer

She provides educational and leadership training to individuals and organizations. She is the founder and CEO of Elite Educational Enterprises and has several years experience serving in the early childhood education industry.

Text the word "join" to 855-691-1749 to receive encouraging messages monthly.

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