Montessori classrooms have big feelings and even bigger outcomes!

Montessori classrooms have big feelings and even bigger outcomes! 

Fact: Emotional intelligence (EQ) is like IQ in the way that we are all born with an innate starting point, and it can be strengthened or diminished with nourishment or neglect. EQ is often described as the ability to recognize, understand, cope with, and express our emotions in appropriate ways. 

Our society has high pressure for academic advancement but often overlooks EQ. While Montessori classrooms will always strive, as we should, to support our students academic success, we particularly owe it to our students to listen to their hearts, to make sure they have the vocabulary to express their feelings and the absolute confidence that they will be heard with understanding. 

Montessori teachers undergo high levels of child-centered training, equipping them with the tools necessary to foster high EQ and IQ. Montessori teachers strive to develop and model their own skills in listening, speaking, and relating. Through this ongoing level of high EQ from the teachers, students gain strong skill sets developing their own emotional intelligence.

Montessori students learn to have an enhanced awareness of their own emotional process and their ability to build EQ. It is this pivotal moment that they become better problem solvers, gain more self-control, and root themselves with empathy for others. 

To all parents: take a deep breath and slow down! It’s not a race! When you allow yourself to feel big emotions and model managing your emotions in appropriate ways, your child will gain confidence in managing his own feelings. Allow your child to FEEL big emotions. Every single time you override your child’s feelings (telling him he is “ok or fine” before he articulates his feelings) you are sending a message that his feelings do not matter, chipping away at their ability to acknowledge their own feelings, stifling his own emotional intelligence. 

Not sure where to start? No worries. Start with finding a balance during an emotional breakdown. We find this balance when we connect the emotions (right brain) with language (left brain).  When we do this regularly, we create the capacity to find balance after an upset in the short run and a more integrated brain in the long run. It is crucial to keep in mind that our children are not trying to give us a hard time but rather they are HAVING a hard time. When we take the time to skillfully respond to children who are upset, we help them integrate their brains, develop their emotional intelligence, and practice skills that will last a lifetime.

By Brandi Parcell