Unfortunately, not every teacher is an emotionally intelligent teacher. Perhaps, their schools, families or societies haven't allowed them to build on their EI skills or perhaps some are unaware of the importance of these skills. However, with a little practice, every teacher can learn and strengthen their EI. Teachers have the ability to manage, perceive, and evaluate their emotions, and therefore make the best use of them.
Here are some activities to try:
Emotionally intelligent teachers are aware of their own emotions
So stop every hour or so to evaluate your emotions. Ensure this an activity that happens regularly and that will turn into a habit. For me this was the hardest point, just stopping for one minute and taking time to reflect on my state. Ask yourself how you feel. Don't forget to answer! Things you could ask your self include: What frustrated me today (or insert another emotion)?
Why was I frustrated? How can I manage this better this next time? Or What did I do well to manage the emotion? Individuals with a high EQ are often self reflective. Becoming aware is an important step.
Teachers with these skills express emotions clearly
Some ideas here are to make sure you use the word "I" and not "you" when you are describing feelings to others. For example, I feel upset when.... no you make me feel.... This is a very important step in expressing emotions clearly.
Building your emotional vocabulary is also a good idea
Try to think of different words to describe emotions. Learn to differentiate between words like mad, rage, anger...
Use a journal and note your emotions, moods or feelings. It's not a test and you don't have to show anyone, but expressing your feelings means you know what you're feeling. This in itself will trigger the an appropriate response after you develop it into a daily habit.
If the feeling is a negative emotion such as frustration, embarrassment, or jealousy, write down what triggered the response and what other feelings you have. Spending about 5 to 10 minutes a day journal-writing will be very beneficial. I started this myself about 6 years ago and found it has been a great help in self-reflecting.
Learn to Read Others' Emotions Effectively
Reading the facial expressions and body language of others is very helpful but at the end of the day, you can't read another person's mind. Be aware of your own body language and be friendly and open. If you sense a child or colleague is going through a difficult time you might approach them and ask if they want to talk but sometimes it is best to just let a person have their own space and time. Reading body language is helpful in this regard.
Teachers with EI are good at managing their own emotions
Making sure you manage your stress is very important. Using meditation, deep breathing or yoga are good ways to remain calm. Other ways to manage stress include using stress balls or making sure you exercise regularly.
EI teachers help manage the emotions of others.
Use kind words to calm others down. There is a saying my boss in my first job told me as a teen, that still stands out-"kill them with kindness" -this is true the kinder and calmer you are the harder it is for another person to act out angrily.
As you work to build your EQ with these activities, you'll notice your emotions get easier to handle. You also notice you see the feelings of others, as well. Building up your skills in this area is like riding a bike. It took a while to learn to ride and so will learning these skills.