To improve the standards of education and the impact of learning, developing teachers’ emotional intelligence and competence should be a priority in every society. Teachers are weighed down with a lot of psychological burdens while trying to effectively teach the students and maintain a healthy learning environment for proper assimilation of information and understanding amongst students.
Emotions are a great tool to be considered in matters that involve social conduct and behavioral patterns. The average Nigerian teacher is tasked with the responsibility of teaching and pulling each kid along.
This includes handling the gentle and stubborn students, giving out assignments, class evaluations to measure the students’ responsiveness to learning as well as grading each student according to their performance.
This long list of activities that are posed to teachers within and outside the classroom mount a lot of emotional constraints that can lead to an emotional breakdown, critically damaging the flow of learning.
What are emotional intelligence and emotional competence?
Emotional intelligence is the ability to maintain a whole state of the mind. This includes a conscious and direct approach to control our thoughts, feelings, and response to stress and personal growth. It also involves the process of striving to maintain a sane mind. This includes getting involved in mind awareness schemes, mastering the art of handling relationships between different individuals, and learning how to express your emotions without ‘burning out’.
Emotional competence is the state of successfully attaining an appreciative functional capacity of your emotions. Emotional competence entails having it all in control. This is a growth phase that shows that you have attained full control of your thoughts, feelings, and response to favorable and unpleasant situations.
Emotional intelligence plays a favorable role in the training of teachers as it equips them with adequate skills to handle all classroom situations. Most teachers lack emotional intelligence, making it difficult for them to communicate effectively with the students.
Teachers that lack emotional intelligence appear more like dictators than as friends. They command respect from the students by enforcing them against the freewill of the students. In most cases, we cannot blame these teachers for the outburst, and a poor display of emotional intelligence.
Over the years, the rate of bullying in schools rose to 71% across the world. This cuts across major countries of the world like the USA. Statistics indicate that one out of five children between the ages of 12 to 18 is a victim of school bullying in American schools.
Without Nigeria as an exemption, the rate of bullying has risen in Nigerian schools in states like Portharcourt. With rising cases of campus bullying, students’ misbehavior, it becomes the role of the teacher to correct these kids and inculcate in them moral values that their parents failed to instill in them.
This automatically turns a teacher from becoming an academic guide to taking the role of a behavior correctional analyst, and a guardian counselor. These teachers handle a series of violent cases to turn these kids into better citizens.
The problematic demand on the teacher broadens as parents send in complaints about their students’ grades and why they think the teacher is not meeting up to their demands. These teachers become stuffed with the burdens of the school, the students, and their individual worries. They wake up each morning like programmed robots, trying hard to please the school’s management, teach the students to maximum satisfaction and handle the aggressive behaviors of most students.
A teacher who lacks proper emotional intelligence will find it difficult to handle the stress and meet up with whatever task that is at hand. A teacher’s emotional mismanagement can also be easily spotted amongst the students as it becomes difficult to influence the students.
Teachers are meant to be influential organs of education – if their emotional health is not properly managed, they will fail to deliver their services effectively.