Set Goals– This is the BIG picture. Goals academically, sports, family, career, etc. The beginning of the school year is a great time to check in with students and help them develop big-picture goals. Make sure that goals are set to accomplish something in the future rather than avoid something now.
Idea: have students create individual goal sheets for the year and rank goals in order of importance.
Identify Pathways and strategies for attaining these goals– this step helps students break down the long-term goal into steps. It is important to teach students that goals are attained in multiple steps and DO NOT have to be accomplished all at once. This will allow them to celebrate smaller successes on their way to attaining the long-term goal.
Idea: have students break down their goal into at least 3 individual steps. This is the journey to the set long-term goal.
Cultivate Willpower and stay motivated– check in on goals and allow modification of pathways to achieve set goals. There is not just one way to attain a goal. As a teacher, it is important to make sure students do not believe that barriers make those goals unattainable, make them less successful, or make them less talented. Share stories of success and overcoming obstacles. Willpower is a resource that can be depleted. Willpower depletion can be caused by a simple lack of sleep, anxiety, emotional distress, lack of exercise, etc. This is where “My Best Me” comes in and helps the educator keep an open dialog, giving students the tools to manage stressors in a healthy and productive way.
Benefits of Hope
Academic Improvement: The science of hope has proven that children with higher hope scores have better grades, attendance, ad graduation rates. Hopeful children are more engaged academically and perform better.
Emotional Livelihood: Children who have hope are more capable of self-regulating their thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. Hope allows them to flourish in their overall well-being.
Decreased Drop-Outs: Classrooms with more hopeful students see decreased numbers of chronic absenteeism, fewer incidences of truancy, and lower drop-out rates, even when controlling for socioeconomic status.
Thriving Teachers: Teachers with more hope are better at implementing strategies to reduce burnout and stress, increasing their ability to thrive in and out of the classroom.
If your school isn’t using My Best Me yet, we would love to help you bring Hope to your school. Our sales team is ready to answer your questions and demo My Best Me for you. Contact us to start spreading Hope in your school.
Connecting with students has many great benefits. A positive student-teacher relationship promotes academic success, helps avoid negative behaviors, and promotes self-worth and good mental health. Studies have found that integrating social-emotional learning in the classroom has benefits for both students and adults that work with them.
3 strategies to connect with students
Be Authentic- Create opportunities for students to share things about themselves, their likes, talents, dislikes, etc. The important thing when creating these activities and discussions is that you as the educator participate and allow your students to get to know you as well.
Examples and ideas:
self-portraits: have children draw themselves and write down facts about themselves. Where were they born, how many people are there in their family, what is their favorite subject and why, favorite color, pets, etc. (Free printable)
What makes a great classroom board: together come up with what makes up a great classroom, have everyone decorate the board, and say one thing they feel would make the classroom amazing.
Two truths and one lie: games are always a great way to break the ice, have fun and get to know each other.
Goal Setting:help your students set a goal and break down the steps that need to be taken in order to achieve that goal. This is a great way for you as the teacher to see what is important to your students and help them achieve that goal for themselves. (check in on these goals mid-year and again at the end of the year)(Free printable)
Being authentic also means you continue to learn and this means being able to admit when something didn’t work well even as the educator. Showing that starting over, regrouping and asking for help does not equal failure but rather it shows the ability to adapt and grow.
Make yourself available- This one can be tricky for teachers because you not only need to make yourself available but also need to create boundaries so that you have time to recharge throughout the day. You can do this by setting specific times in which students can come for help or to discuss something. This can be in the morning before school, after school, and/or during lunchtime.
Be a Champion– Celebrate with your class. This can be as simple as attending a soccer game where many of your students are playing and/or attending. This is a great opportunity to cheer them on and build connections outside the classroom and connect with families. Celebrate not only the obvious success but celebrate growth and effort as well. Being a champion for your students means being seen as an adult that authentically cares about your student’s success and about them as individuals.
How to fund Emotional Intelligence curriculum in your School
When a school is looking to implement an Emotional Intelligence Curriculum, such as the “My Best Me” curriculum, one of their main concerns is funding. The good news is that the “My Best Me” curriculum meets federal funding eligibility standards and other state and local grant requirements.
We encourage you to use the following resources to help fund Social-Emotional Learning in your school.
Title Funds:federal funding opportunities for EI (Emotional Intelligence Curriculum)
Title I, Part A—Improving Basic Programs Operated by Local Educational Agencies
Title I, Part D—Prevention and Intervention Programs for Children and Youth Who Are Neglected, Delinquent, or At-Risk
Title II, Part A—Supporting Effective Instruction (Teacher Training and Teacher Retention)
FundsNet – Database to search for grants sorted by state
Federal Grants – (Keyword- Social Emotional Learning) federal funding filtered by opportunity status, funding type, eligibility, category and agency.
Funding Exclusive to Oklahoma:
EIGO– allows individuals and businesses to get a state income tax credit to help offset the expense specifically for Hope Rising.EIGO is only in Oklahoma and so these benefits only apply to Oklahoma Schools and Oklahoma Income Tax payers.
Students deserve programs that will teach them social-emotional skills that will span beyond the classroom. Teachers deserve the tools and resources to make this process easy and effective.
It is no surprise that in recent years there has been increased attention on the mental health of our students. As schools prepare for another year, it is important to take note of how you can better help your students, families, and staff.
Why implement an Emotional Intelligence Curriculum in the classroom?
Emotional Intelligence promotes self-awareness, academic achievement, and positive behavior not only in the classroom but also out of the classroom. Many teachers have implemented some form of EI in the classroom in recent years.
93% of teachers believe EI has a place in the classroom and for good reason. EI helps students thrive but also helps create a more cohesive classroom environment through fewer disciplinary actions, increased academic performance, reduction in classroom disruption, and open communication.
Why use an EI curriculum such as “My Best Me”?
Implementing an EI curriculum like “My Best Me” ensures best practices for the best results. Not only that, a good curriculum comes with good teacher support which helps take the stress out of planning and execution. A curriculum takes the guesswork out.
How to choose the best curriculum for your school:
Consider the age: Many EI curriculums are written for a certain age group. For example, the “My Best Me” curriculum is written for students as young as preschool age, all the way up to high school. Other curricula may be written just for high school-age or elementary-age students.
Does it meet your budget constraints? Of course each curriculum has a cost attached to it and these costs must be taken into consideration when deciding which curriculum is best.
Does the curriculum come with support or training? It is important that teachers are supported when implementing new curriculum. Through training and teachers’ resources. “My Best Me” comes with not only teacher training but also provides teachers with everything they need to implement the lesson in their classroom.
Does the EI curriculum focus on what is pertinent to your school district and your families? Every EI program is unique and focuses on different topics. “My Best Me” for example focuses on Identity, Health, Community, Environment, and Economics.
Many educators and parents will agree that Emotional Intelligence is important and should be implemented in schools. One of the more common barriers to entry is cost. The cost associated with a formal Emotional Intelligence program such as “My Best Me” can be challenging. So let’s break down the cost vs. benefit.
Is Emotional Intelligence a wise financial investment?
Yes! Social Emotional Learning is a solid investment. A study from Columbia University found that an Emotional Intelligence program can have an average of 1:11 return on investment. Emotional Intelligence is not only an important investment for your students BUT also a good financial investment.
Leveraging federal funds for Emotional Intelligence
Emotional Intelligence may be a good investment but finding the funds to allocate to this investment can be tricky. The main source of funds for Emotional Intelligence is the Title IV-A block grant. This grant authorizes activity in three broad areas:
Providing students with a well rounded education (arts, STEM, computer sciences).
Support the safety and health of students (Emotional Intelligence, drug and violence prevention, physical education).
Supporting effective use of technology (devices to give access to technology and digital materials).
Students benefit a great deal from EI
We know that Emotional Intelligence improves self awareness, self management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision making. All of these skills help students throughout their academic journey and promote long term positive outcomes. This ultimately results in greater graduation rates.