“Social awareness is your ability to accurately pick up on emotions in other people and understand what is really going on with them. This often means perceiving what other people are thinking and feeling even if you do not feel the same way” (Emotional Intelligence 2.0 by Travis Bradberry).
Every Wednesday afternoon, we have a circle time with our students at the creative learning center, and we give each kid a chance to share what has been going on in their lives that week. Sometimes they share interesting or funny stories that make everyone laugh. Sometimes they share experiences that made them sad or afraid. The reason we do this activity every week is because we want to help develop and grow our students’ emotional intelligence. We want them to be aware of their emotions and how to express them in productive ways. We also want our students to be able to build empathetic relationships within their family and social groups.
One Wednesday a few months back, the kids had been sharing some funny stories during circle time. But one of the boys noticed that not everyone in the group looked happy. So, after we broke from the circle, he went over to where Teacher Ming was sitting. “Teacher Ming, we forgot to ask how you are feeling today. Is everything okay?”
Though she hadn’t told anyone, Teacher Ming was in fact feeling sad about something. This young boy picked up on her emotions and realized that something was wrong. After she shared with him, he prayed for her. Then he looked into her eyes and said, “Don’t worry, teacher. Whatever happens in your life, I’ll always be here for you.”
“Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help” (Eccl. 4:9-10 NLT).