Let's use our professional development in schools to not only support teachers in their quest to provide authentic learning experiences that maximize student achievement, but to help them become self-aware, emotionally intelligent individuals. Empowering your faculty and staff with the skills necessary to recognize emotions, learn the art of self-regulation, and practice stress management, will have a positive effect in your school. The more emotionally healthy we are, the better our relationships are with those around us. As we learn to recognize triggers and stressor points, we are better able to navigate our work/life balance.
In terms of the actual plans for PD and models to use, I recommend RULER and the Mood Meter App from The Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. For mindfulness routines and breathing exercises to center the mind, I recommend various breathing exercises I learned through my graduate program at Columbia University in Education Leadership. I also recommend exercises in which faculty and staff watch short videos that exercise the brain, stimulate creativity, and infuse serenity. These are usually followed by a journal reflection, and this helps center the mind and focus on the present. I would be happy to share some of my personal favorites with you.
If we expect our faculty and staff to nurture the whole-child, we must first nurture the mind, body, and spirit of our faculty. Let's take a step in the right direction and build capacity for self-awareness and emotional intelligence training in our schools.