Teachers with emotional intelligence are the ones who leave their mark
Do you remember any particular teacher from your schooldays? Surely yes! We all have a teacher in our memory who has especially impacted us, right? Why do you think they stand out among all our teachers? Is it because they had emotional intelligence?
The reality is that the teachers we have in our childhood keep influencing us. Without us noticing, they are models that we are imitating and from which we are learning. Are there differences between teachers who have emotional intelligence and those who do not?
“Most of us end up with no more than five or six people who remember us. Teachers have thousands of people who remember them for the rest of their lives”
Teachers with emotional intelligence – models for children
During school we are developing as people. We acquire knowledge of mathematics, language or geography. But not only that, we also start to interact with other people from outside our family. We start to learn to interact with other people and to manage our emotions.
In this way, teachers (whether they want to or not, since we are at a stage where we are easily influenced) become models in terms of attitudes, behaviors, emotions and feelings. They help their students adjust their different bonding and emotional profiles. Of course, this task begins in the home of each child with their parents, but it continues at school.
Teachers with emotional intelligence will carry out activities that provide socio-emotional stimulation:
- regulated expression of positive and negative feelings
- creation of environments that stimulate the development of socio-emotional skills and of interpersonal conflict resolution
- exposure to experiences to be solved through emotional strategies
- teaching empathic skills
They will encourage students to develop their own emotional intelligence, which is essential for adequate physical and mental well-being. Children will discover emotional diversity, they will have a greater perception and understanding of their own and others’ feelings, they will understand how to move from one emotion to another, and they will be aware of the possibility of feeling conflicting emotions.
“The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires”
-William A. Ward-
Teachers with emotional intelligence suffer less stress at work
In addition to being ideal models for our children and helping them to develop adequate emotional skills, teachers with emotional intelligence suffer less work stress. In fact, this profession is one of the most at risk for suffering this type of psychological distress.
The reality is that teachers are subject to numerous sources of stress that may undermine their initial enthusiasm. So, poor working conditions, lack of resources that do not meet the high demands required, low social and professional status or temporary pressures can cause bad feelings and burnout.
“What sculpture is to a block of marble, education is to a human soul”
In this sense, teachers with emotional intelligence can reduce global levels of work stress by properly managing negative emotional reactions. In this way, they implement active coping strategies for stressful work situations, instead of avoiding them. Strategies that children will imitate, because at their age they observe.
But not only that, but they also experience less negative consequences of stress. In addition, they feel personally fulfilled in their work environment. Finally, their levels of health and mental well-being are also clearly better.
Stress affects the quality of teaching, so the problem can affect the students. It would be very interesting to implement programs that encourage emotional intelligence in our teachers, both for their benefit and for our children.
Images courtesy of Megan Soule, Stephanie Ecate and Zi Jian Lim.