Emotional Intelligence - School Climate Resources


In New Canaan, we are committed to focusing on educating the “whole child” and increasing the overall wellness of our faculty and students. As one aspect of this work, we have embarked on raising the Emotional Intelligence (EI) of students and staff throughout our school community.  


In 2017, we partnered with the Yale University Center for Emotional Intelligence to begin our initiative. Dr. Marc Brackett, Ph.D., the Director of Emotional Intelligence at Yale University came to speak to the community and emphasized the importance of teaching students the basic skills of Emotional Intelligence.



The RULER Approach 



The RULER approach is an evidenced based, systemic approach to Social Emotional Learning that was developed through the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence.  Explicitly teaching students and adults the skills of Emotional Intelligence increases academic achievement, promotes positive learning environments, and improves mental health and decision making. 


The RULER approach promotes the development of five key emotion skills:




RULER implementation involves teaching both the adults and students in the school the RULER skills.  There are several RULER tools used to teach Emotional Intelligence - which are described below.  



Emotional Intelligence - Charter


A Charter is a promise you make to yourself and others about how you want to feel at home or at school, and what you need to do to feel that way.  Everyone has a voice in creating the Charter.  Everyone also has a responsibility to uphold it.  When students feel ownership about their community, they are more likely to behave in ways that foster a positive classroom environment.  The Charter also increases empathy between students as they learn to think about the ways in which their behavior affects others. 


In New Canaan, each elementary classroom develops a Charter at the beginning of the year.  If you are interested in learning more about Charter- here is an overview.  

Emotional Intelligence - Mood Meter


The Mood Meter is an evidenced based tool that allows us to increase our self-awareness.  We can quickly be aware of how we are feeling by thinking about our energy level and how “pleasant” our emotions are.  Self-awareness is the foundation of all of the Emotional Intelligence Skills.  



Emotional Intelligence - Meta Moment


The Meta-moment is a method for regulating emotion.  It starts with “Sense”- being aware of how your body sensations and thoughts.  The second step is to “Pause” to take a breath and slow down your reactions.  The third step is to “See Your Best Self” - to think about the person you want to be, and how you want others to see you.  The final step is to “Strategize and Act” which means to intentionally and consciously choose a strategy for managing your emotional response.  





Please click here for the Susan Bliss presentation of November 29, 2022.




Check out this week’s Happy @ Home tip: RULER

An important part of EI is self-regulation. The RULER approach outlines an easy 5-step process to achieve this goal. West School teaches students to Recognize, Understand, Label and Express emotions, and then Regulate them. Ask your child about the RULER tool. Maybe print out the chart and hang it somewhere in the house. This is a great way to resolve conflict at home! More information on RULER.


Check out last week’s Happy @ Home tip: Charter

Check out previous Happy @ Home tip: "Talk it Out" 

Check out previous Happy @ Home tip: The Mood Meter



Please click here for the Susan Bliss presentation of March 14, 2023.




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