Tragic events related to the lack of emotion or emotional control has been making the news, very bad news, in our schools for years. Who doesn’t remember Columbine or Virginia Tech? However, many of the struggles educators deal with on a daily basis, rarely reach the headlines. Behavior problems are so normal that they have been included in the curriculum; the hidden, silent curriculum of write ups, in-school and out of school suspensions, and “severe” administrative consequences. Still, after many years of these practices, violence in our learning institutions keep raising, proving that none of these strategies work. While the illness has been generalized, the treatment has not produced results because there has not been a sound and accountable prevention program in place.

Now, imagine if all our students would be given the opportunity to identify and explore their feelings on a daily basis. Most important, imagine if those same students would be given the time and resources to positively manage their emotions. How would it feel like to be able to navigate school communities where its members know how to build positive relationships, how to get along with culturally diverse peers, and how to use these skills to develop long lasting personal and professional success?

The main dilemma for many educators and researchers resides in one simple question. Is it possible to teach emotions, how to modify or change them? The answer to this question is still on the waiting list of priorities while our schools keep sinking in the sea of standardization, annual yearly progress, and budget cuts. Would emotional intelligence in school promote a radical change? I believe so but it would be a most needed change and crucial if we aim to provide our students with the emotional tools they need to embrace a holistic successful life.

Creative educators could make a difference by promoting and embedding these skills in their curriculum. Skills like self-awareness, empathy, effective, non-bias communication, and problem solving strategies have proven crucial in managing and attaining a balanced life. Maybe it is time to begin thinking in what our students should really be learning to develop their whole person. The 21st. Century presents many challenges and it is our responsibility to prepare the younger generations to join an integral community; people who live, work, contribute, and play in an integral world.

In my next article I will be giving some strategies to teach self-awareness in the classroom. To learn more about this topic visit:

Author's Bio: 

Norma Casas has been an educator for over twenty years. She is also a certified life coach, student of methaphysics since an early age, and passionate about helping others, especially women, in achieving their highest potential. She is currently studying neuro-linguistic programming focused on education improvement.