Two years ago, Concord Road School (CRS) began a new journey. We wanted to adopt a systematic approach to Social and Emotional Learning (SEL). We looked for a methodology that would support our entire learning community of students, teachers and families and could become part of our school culture. After looking at many options, we adopted a program from the The Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence called RULER (http://ei.yale.edu/ruler/) which is an acronym for the five skills of emotional intelligence: Recognizing, Understanding, Labeling, Expressing and Regulating emotions.
What is RULER? Emotions guide how we face any day or individual situation. The RULER program helps us create a common language for our emotions, build emotional intelligence skills and create and maintain a positive school environment. This work is even more important in these unprecedented times.
The first year of this multiphase program began with professional development training throughout the 2019/2020 school year. We studied the four anchor tools of RULER: the Charter, the Mood Meter, the Meta-Moment and the Blueprint. This year we are rolling out the first two tools - the Charter and the Mood Meter.
What is a class charter and mood meter? The purpose of a charter is to define how we want to feel at school and what we can do to feel that way. Each class has created charters and we have recently introduced RULER’s Mood Meter. The Mood Meter helps students understand how they are feeling, provides a common language to express their feelings and empowers them to channel their emotions in a positive way. Teachers are doing “Mood Meter check-ins” with their students on a regular basis. In this manner, teachers can help both on and off-campus students manage their emotions in real-time to ensure optimal learning. After just a few short weeks, students are even using the mood meter, class charters and our new common language directly with their peers to create and maintain healthy friendships and environments.
Listen to my interview with Genevieve Garrity, Yannick Giloy and Viraaj Parekh, three students from Ms. Perl’s class, on their experience with creating a class charter and the mood meter.
How can our family support RULER? This year, we we are asking our families to engage in the program while at home. You can support RULER skills by creating a family charter and utilizing the mood meter. We invite you to view the video and/or presentation from our first Family Ruler Night, which was held on Monday, October, 26th. The video and presentation will help you bring the common language and RULER strategies into your daily lives. Included at the end of the presentation are some additional helpful family resource links.
We are very excited about this new work at Concord Road and making it an enduring part of our school culture. Research shows that students using RULER have better academic performance, are less likely to bully others and have better leadership skills, attention spans and decreased anxiety. We are already seeing the benefits and look forward to continuing to focus on students' social and emotional growth.
Thank you for your continued support of our school and programs!