Emotional Intelligence can be defined as the ability to recognise and understand one’s own feelings.
Emotional Literacy involves the above as well as the ability to express one’s feelings to others and respond to their feelings.
Both require self-awareness, the ability to self-regulate, to show empathy to others and the ability to be motivated to use these skills.
The recent wave of social and emotional challenges has placed great demands on the emotional literacy of education staff, pupils and parents. They have faced and in some cases are still facing uncertain times brought on by the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemicThis includes actual or impending lockdowns, balancing home educating and home working, maintaining Covid-safe conditions in school. Piled on top of these issues is the distress caused by events which prompted the active resurgence of #Blacklivesmatter. The impact of these traumatic events on the mental health of those involved in education cannot be underestimated. Developing emotional intelligence and emotional literacy can help to untangle confused emotions such as anger vs fear, anxiety vs excitement, hunger vs boredom. The resulting emotional clarity can lead to the discovery and use of strategies for maintaining our own mental well-being and supporting the mental health of others in a rapidly changing world.