This week, in her Curriculum Update, our Assistant Superintendent shared a little background information about Marc Brackett, The Director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. He asserts that educators do not ask students how they are feeling often enough. After some reflection, I'm not so sure I do.
I check in with my students a ton. I ask them open-ended questions when I have them one-on-one. For example, I might ask something as silly sounding as, "How's your life going?" At times, I have to ask students to, "say more about that" but overall, I'm shocked at how much information such a simple question yields.
I also ask students to reflect in writing every few weeks. The questions are simple here too. In a recent prompt, I asked, "How is fourth-grade going? Can you give me details to backup your thinking?" Again, this question helped me to understand how my students are doing.
What I don't ask is "How are you feeling?" I'm very curious about my students' responses. I'm wondering if I'll get different information given that this question asks them to focus in on their feelings. I will likely ask them to back up their thinking with some reasons. I'm a little worried that many of my students will write about their physical health or whether or not they are warm/cold, tired/alert. I'm concerned that I won't get a ton of insight into their emotional well-being. I won't know until I ask. Tune in in a few days when I'll share what I learned when I asked: "How are you feeling?"
In the meantime, check out some of the reflections I received when I asked students to reflect on how fourth-grade was going.