Educating the Mind...and Heart

Posted by Nicki Peasley Share Your Voice


Edutopia offers a wealth of information on social emotional learning in schools.  Academic achievement is directly linked to students’ ability to successfully manage their emotions are navigate their relationships. Here are some of our favorite practices that any school can adopt to increase students’ emotional intelligence and improve school culture. 

From “Simple Techniques to Incorporate Social and Emotional Learning”

1)   Implement regular class meetings, a time in which every student is heard and valued.  

2)   Use conflict resolution tools to teach problem solving skills.  Conflict is inevitable.  Use it constructively.   

3)   Use emotional sandwiching, starting and ending the day with an eye to eye connection with each student.

4)   Build emotional capital of faculty and administration. Think the oxygen mask metaphor—teachers must put on their own before helping their students.  

5)   Build emotional capital of students.  Understand that some may need a lot of deposits before any academic withdrawals can be made.  

A few more from  “Tips on Creating a Caring School.

6)  Know everyone’s name. It is the most beautiful word a person can hear and it is the first building block to a student’s connection to the school community.

7)   Have students evaluate teachers. Show them that their opinion matters.

8)   Implement student-led parent-teacher conferences. Empower students to own their education.

Common sense?  Perhaps.  And in the business of the school day, emotional learning can get lost.  We must remember that educating the heart is just as important as educating the mind. 

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Small Nicki Peasley I am the CEO of my home, managing a team consisting of a 40 year old, an 11 year old, an 8 year old, and a 6 year old. In my spare time, I am the YOUth development director for Bounce, writing curriculums and working (playing and learning) with elementary and middle school youth.


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