Bradenton, Fla. – Dr. Janet S. Pullen, Head of School at Saint Stephen’s Episcopal in Bradenton, will be a session speaker this week at the Florida Council of Independent Schools State Conference in Orlando.
Pullen will speak about a hot national education topic of Emotional Intelligence (EI), or what she calls powerful positive peer pressure, and relationship building in schools. EI is the notion that schools (and businesses) are more successful by incorporating people’s IQ as well as their EQ. “Teaching students and staff to know themselves and their emotions, and how to read the emotions of others is proven to be beneficial in many ways,” said Pullen.
The idea of incorporating EI training in schools is gaining nationwide attention, as seen in an article recently in The New York Times. Pullen, a 2013 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Doctoral Program in Education Leadership and Organization, speaks a great deal about this trend in research. Furthermore, she believes in its value so much that Emotional Intelligence training is an initiative she’s incorporating for staff and students at Saint Stephen’s. “No matter how smart a child is, if we can teach from a young age, the importance of balancing out their sense of selfwith their sense of others, it can be a crucial character building tool,” said Pullen. “The more they have EI to understand who they are and appreciate and respect how others might feel about things, the better they’ll be able to function in the world.”
Functioning in the world is already something Saint Stephen’s students are learning, as part of the School’s Global Initiative, in which they frequently Skype and learn with international students. “These methods will certainly help our students understand more about themselves while learning about others in the world,” said Pullen, who did her dissertation on Global Education and EI.
“I feel that schools will also be more effective if teachers understand their EI; it will help them deal better with their students. It’s something that one of my professor’s, Annie McKee, really inspired me about. McKee wrote the book ‘Resonant Leader’. I have always lived my life around these ideas but have never really titled it, until delving deep into the theories behind Emotional Intelligence,” said Pullen.
EI training at Saint Stephen’s also includes learning skills to understand what motivates actions, having empathy for others, and being able to manage those skills. “If we can teach students and staff to think twice before reacting, to think before speaking, and to understand how it feels to walk in someone else’s shoes, that’s powerful. For example, there’s a big difference between telling a child to stop bullying, and actually teaching about what motivates that behavior; toconsider the others person’s feelings before acting. This could have huge ramifications nationwide in our schools,” said Pullen.
The 2013 FCIS Conference is hosted by the Tampa Area FCIS Schools and will beheld at the Hyatt Regency Orlando Airport on Thursday, November 7 and Friday, November 8.
Saint Stephen’s Episcopal School is a private, independent, co-educational, college preparatory school in Bradenton, FL. Saint Stephen’s delivers world-class education, excellent extracurricular experiences and exciting programs like AP course work, the iPad initiative, a band/strings program, a global education program, K-12 daily foreign language program and our Marine Science Initiative, to name a few.
Saint Stephen’s sits on a gated, 35-acre campus, which includes a state of the art athletic center that hosts the school’s athletic events including football, track and field, lacrosse, baseball, softball, tennis, and cheerleading. At every level, from PK3 through grade 12, students are nurtured in small classes and encouraged and supported in their academic pursuits. Students benefit from programs and educational models that have proven successful by Saint Stephen’s students who are excelling today in colleges and universities around the country. Saint Stephen’s is proud of its rich academic offerings that go hand-in-hand with a strong college counseling program, a wide variety of competitive sports teams, a creative fine arts program, and many service learning opportunities. For more information about our school, please visit www.saintstephens.org.