The teaching of emotional intelligence was introduced to The Woods Academy Guidance Department some years ago by Ms. Debbie Dosh, then Lower School Coordinator/third-grade teacher. The goal remains to teach the Lower School children to be “people smart.” Based on the writings of Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence: Why it can matter more than IQ, our objective is to develop children who can be sensitive to other people’s feelings and emotions as well as to take on a leadership role.
As we began the school year, the characteristic of empathy was taught in grades one through four, with the students developing ways to notice other’s feelings. They explored ways to be kind, caring, and compassionate as the school year began with a distance learning model.
The students soon became motivated by more fully realizing that they all needed to try extra hard to meet their personal goals as well as those of their teachers and parents as The Woods Academy entered into the hybrid teaching model. In grades one through three, the students were highly motivated to not only color their COVID coloring books but to also become more educated about the pandemic crisis and ways to keep healthy and happy.
Discussions and seeing examples of self-restraint helped to guide the girls and boys through all of the ups and downs of their current lives and the importance of maintaining good self-control. As the legendary UCLA Basketball Coach, John Wooden, told his players, “If you lose self-control everything will fall. If you learn self-control, you can master anything.”
Lower School Guidance classes also introduced the children to techniques of conflict resolution, ways of maintaining friendships, and creating a positive social environment as well as being grateful for all that our Woods Academy community has been given. As found in the Gospel according to Luke, “From those to whom much is given, much is expected. (Luke 12:48)