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American children are experiencing unprecedented levels of anxiety, depression and stress (Brackett, 2016). Lamar's students reflect that national trend. The state of children’s emotional distress should be deeply concerning to educators. Our emotions drive creativity, learning and decision-making. Teaching the skills of Emotional Intelligence enables our students to become more effective learners and joyful human beings.
Emotional Intelligence, also referred to as social and emotional learning, describes “the ability to monitor one’s own and other’s feelings and emotions, to discriminate among them and to use this information to guide one’s thinking and actions” (Salovey & Mayer, 1990, p. 189).
At Lamar, we extended the school day by 20 minutes in order to create a stand-alone time called TIGER Time at the start of every day to teach social and emotional skills. TIGER Time is an acronym that represents the focus for this initial part of the school day:
Specific growth mindset strategies we teach include optimism, flexibility, empathy, persistence and resilience (Mraz & Hertz, 2015). We also implement a social-emotional curriculum called RULER. Designed by the Yale University Center for Emotional Intelligence, RULER is an acronym that stands for Recognizing, Understanding, Labeling, Expressing and Regulating emotions.
Recognize emotions in self and others
Understand the causes and consequences of emotions
Label emotions accurately
Express emotions appropriately
Regulate emotions effectively
Teachers implement RULER tools to provide students with a set of strategies and skills to help identify and manage their emotions. They include writing a class-created contract, using the “mood meter” to better understand their emotions, utilizing the meta-moment framework to work through highly emotional experiences and reflecting during difficult situations using a blueprint (see Family Involvement for additional information on how to use RULER tools at home). The mood meter is the cornerstone tool of the RULER curriculum.
Both the growth mindset and the RULER tools help students to feel better-equipped to handle situations that arise which leads to a healthier and more productive environment for all Lamar students.
Brackett, M. (2016). “Today’s students may be emotionally unprepared.” New York Times.
Salovey, P. & Mayer, J.D. (1990). Emotional Intelligence. Imagination, Cognition & Personality, 9, 185-211.
Mraz, K. & Hertz, C. (2015). A Mindset for Learning: Teaching the Traits of Joyful, Independent Growth. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.
Mirabeau B. Lamar Elementary School | 201 Parland Place | San Antonio, TX 78209 | Phone: (210) 738-9800 | Fax: (210) 228-3052
It is the policy of San Antonio ISD not to discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation or disability in its vocational programs, services or activities as required by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended; Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972; Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, and SAISD's board policies DIA, FFH, and FFI.
Es norma del distrito de San Antonio no discriminar por motivos de raza, color, religión, origen nacional, sexo, identidad de género, expresión de género, orientación sexual o discapacidad, en sus programas, servicios o actividades vocacionales, tal como lo requieren el Título VI de la Ley de Derechos Civiles de 1964, según enmienda; el Título IX de las Enmiendas en la Educación, de 1972, la Sección 504 de la Ley de Rehabilitación de 1973, según enmienda, y las pólizas DIA, FFH, y FFI de la mesa directiva de SAISD.
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