The Essential Role of Emotional Intelligence in Education 

As educators and school leaders, we deal with many challenges daily. It’s not just about teaching the subjects and running classrooms – it’s also about understanding and handling our emotions and those of our students. Emotional intelligence (EI) is now considered a vital skill for educators and educational leaders.

As someone deeply entrenched in the field of education, I’ve come to realise that understanding and managing emotions, both our own and those of the people around us, can have a profound impact on the learning environment. EI has emerged as an indispensable skill set for educators and educational leaders.

Emotional intelligence, in simple terms, means being aware of and managing your own feelings and those of others. It’s made up of various skills, including knowing yourself, controlling your emotions, empathy, and getting along with others. These skills are super important for creating a positive learning environment and ensuring students do well.

We often find ourselves in high-stress situations. We have to handle lots of tasks – from managing the school’s paperwork to teaching and dealing with students’ behaviour.

Balancing all this can be tough.

As Reuven Bar-on, an expert in emotional intelligence, says, “Our emotions are strong. Learning to handle them is important for our personal and professional success.” So, developing emotional intelligence helps us deal with stress better and stay well.

Here’s why working on your Emotional Intelligence is a good idea:

  • Knowing Yourself: When you understand your strengths, weaknesses, and what makes you upset, you can make smarter choices. It’s like knowing yourself better.
  • Better Relationships: When you’re emotionally intelligent, you can connect with students, parents, and colleagues in a positive way. Research shows that teachers with higher emotional intelligence have better relationships with students.
  • Managing the Classroom: Emotional intelligence helps you be kind and helpful when students need it. That makes it easier to keep order in the classroom. Teachers with high emotional intelligence are better at dealing with disruptive behaviour.
  • Success at School: When the classroom has a friendly atmosphere, students get excited about learning. That helps them do better in their studies. Some research by Dr. Maurice Elias and others shows a link between teachers’ emotional intelligence and students’ success at school.
  • Helping Whānau: Teachers with high emotional intelligence can talk well with parents. That means they can provide support and build trust between families and the school. That’s great for students.

Improving emotional intelligence is not just about growing as a person; it also helps us handle the challenges of our jobs, deal with stress, and create a welcoming learning place. By getting better at emotional intelligence, we not only help ourselves but also make a positive impact on our students and their families.

Want to know more about the mahi we are doing in this field? Get in touch today for a conversation!

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