The careers of the future require us to be emotionally developed, skilled and solid. That function, at the moment, cannot be mechanized in any workstation.
There are several useful strategies when it comes to promoting the emotional intelligence of students from school, although we consider that the emotional development of the child has other spaces of construction outside of it (mainly, the family).
These 7 ideas can be applied in the classroom, supported by the help of versatile furniture, regardless of the age of the students:
The assembly format, with a circular arrangement that allows eye contact and treatment as equals, is a fantastic tool for students to express how they feel, resolve conflicts through dialogue, praise the merits of their classmates and feel recognized themselves, and find joint solutions to common problems.
This is a strategy that many centers apply in nursery and primary school courses, but it becomes less and less frequent as the students grow older. In reality, there is no reason not to apply it also in high school cycles, being also a very good way to educate for democracy and to learn to listen to other opinions.
TALK ABOUT EMOTIONS::
Self-awareness is one of the basic pillars of emotional intelligence. One of the great problems that children and teenagers face is the inability to recognise their own feelings. That is why it is important to talk about them very early, so that children can appreciate the different emotions they experience and name them. Among the many activities that can be done to work on feelings, an interesting option is to suggest that they illustrate, either through drawing or writing, some of these feelings.
WORKING THROUGH LITERATURE:
Books are one of the best ways to work on emotional intelligence. Approaching literature from the motivations and feelings of the characters offers the ideal context for self-reflection and also for beautiful discussions in class.
ROLE-PLAYING AND THEATER:
Interpretation is always a good way to get students to put themselves in someone else’s shoes. Offering theater electives or even posing it as a project for the whole class is an excellent way to focus, and therefore better understand, feelings, however varied and complex they may be.
ENCOURAGE THEM TO WRITE A JOURNAL:
Journaling is a valuable exercise in self-discovery and only requires a notebook, pen and a space of privacy. We can ask the students how they felt in a certain circumstance, and if their feeling helped them in their purposes or was rather an obstacle to overcome, and that they reflect on how they could handle similar situations in the future.
WORK THE TEACHER’S OWN EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE:
Being a teacher is not always easy and less so in the Covid era that we have been through. A wide range of emotions are experienced in a classroom, both positive and negative, and managing them remotely can further complicate group cohesion.
It is always a good idea to promote emotional intelligence workshops among the teachers themselves, so that teachers can learn first-hand strategies that they can later use and transmit in their classes.
PRACTICE THE EVALUATION BETWEEN EQUALS:
Being receptive to the evaluation of the other members of the group is a very good way to improve self-awareness. In this way we become more receptive to criticism at the same time that we learn to formulate opinions about others in a more diplomatic and constructive way. It is a methodology in which others work as a mirror so that we can have another perspective of ourselves.