“My school feels like a jail…I am not allowed to wear my sweatshirt, use the restroom during class, or use a backpack to carry my books around to eliminate my chances of being late.”
All too often, these are the thoughts and feelings of students today. The student continued:
“Between the other kids judging me for the way I walk, talk, act, and wear my hair/makeup and the administration pretending I’m still in Kindergarten, I spend most of my day waiting to leave. It is a negative environment despite it being a top 50 school in the country, the feelings of hate and negativity towards the school are pretty much a consensus” (Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, 2015).
These stories and the research below were presented at the Emotion Revolution Summit, a remarkable gathering of several hundred students, parents, and educators dedicated to creating positive change in schools through emotional intelligence and social emotional learning.
Lady Gaga, wearing a t-shirt that read, “I am not just anxious,” was inspiring as she told her personal story and shared her Born This Way Foundation’s mission with great eloquence and passion. We need to help students feel as if they are “not just a score on a test,” “not just a grade,” and “not just another body.”
From one article comes a movement
Here is a photo of Anabel Jensen, President of Six Seconds, catching up with long-time friend Peter Salovey, President of Yale University and co-author of the original 1990 article on emotional intelligence.
Peter reminded all of us that from an obscure article can come unbelievable momentum. Anabel’s vision is to reach one billion people and help them create positive change in their lives.
Research: How Do Students Feel?
In a national survey of 22,000 students (Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, 2015), the most common emotions expressed while in class were Tired, Bored, and Stressed.
Students also reported that when other people are mean or cruel to them, they tend to feel Lonely…Fearful…Hopeless
Only 40% of students said that what they are learning in school is relevant to their lives. Those who said their learning was relevant reported feeling more Interested…Respected…Happy
Most students do not feel this way. Instead they are suffering from chronic stress, feeling no one cares about them or their feelings. Some experience anxiety and depression; others take drugs to dull the pain. Three of four students report feeling bullied. We’re facing a huge challenge in our schools. We need to “Close the Gap” so that our young people can feel:
Creating Positive Change in Schools with InspirED
A key initiative announced at the Emotion Revolution Summit is InspirED, an incredible opportunity for youth and adults to collaborate and build vibrant, positive schools. Six Seconds is proud to join the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, Facebook, and many other amazing organizations as an InspirED Partner.
- The InspirED Facebook site provides a library of lessons and activities written by youth for youth.
- An award program encourages schools to implement Social Emotional Learning (SEL).
- The InspirED professional development center is housed on Six Seconds’ EQ.org site. Written by educators for educators, these resources will assist educators to develop their own EQ competencies for self awareness, strengthen classroom relationships, and supercharge their classrooms with emotional intelligence.
InspirEd on Facebook and InspirEd for Educators on EQ.org share the same framework of different emotions, such as Safe/Comfortable and Inspired/Empowered. The two sites will link to each other, allowing educators to go back and forth between activities for students and those for their own professional development.
Toward a Billion People Practicing EQ
As we launch InspirEd, what else can you do to put your own oar in the water, to feel the excitement and capitalize on the celebration of the InspirED emotions?
Join Six Seconds to reduce anger, hostility, and negativity by participating in Talents for Tolerance.
Create more joy and excitement and make a positive change in the world by becoming certified in Six Seconds’ model of emotional intelligence.
Expand your coaching or consultation practice by becoming certified to deliver Six Seconds’ individual and organizational assessments.
Join a growing community of people who are passionate about emotional intelligence on EQ.org.
Latest posts by Dr. Susan Stillman (see all)
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