Teaching with Emotional Intelligence

Two words that frighten me: “emotional” and “intelligence.”

I worry that the emotional student may go off like a time bomb and be totally outside my control, highjack my session and require that I take care of him/her, or in some way act like a counsellor, which I don’t want to be, and am not trained for. Or that my own emotions will overwhelm me and prevent me from acting as my “best self.” Emotions are so messy.

Microsoft clipartIntelligence is a concept that is the opposite of messy. I think of a number. 122. 101. 145. 92. Not one number up or down, but exact and set in stone. Even when I think of multiple intelligences, I think about being smart in some ways, and not-so-smart in other ways. Intelligence has a hard edge to it. If I’m not smart enough, I can’t get smarter.

So put the two words together to say “emotional intelligence” and there is the place for panic. Messy and nowhere to go. Continue reading