• 1

    Emotions Matter

    What is RULER?

    RULER is an evidence-based approach for integrating social and emotional learning into schools, developed at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. RULER applies “hard science” to the teaching of what have historically been called “soft skills.” RULER teaches the skills of emotional intelligence — those associated with recognizing, understanding, labeling, expressing, and regulating emotion. Decades of research show that these skills are essential to effective teaching and learning, sound decision making, physical and mental health, and success in school and beyond.

    RULER creates schools that are true safe harbors for our children. It does this by developing emotional intelligence in students from preschool to high school and in all adults involved in their education: school administrators, teachers, and support staff. Parents also participate in training so that they can reinforce the emotional skills that students learn at school. Our approach gives a unique depth and consistency to social and emotional learning that empowers school leaders and teachers to create a genuinely safe space for students to learn and grow.

    Creating Emotionally Intelligent Schools 

    Staff development on RULER begins when a small team, including one school administrator and at least two educators or mental health professionals from the school, attend the RULER Institute led by a team from the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence.

    The Institute introduces participants to the RULER skills and the Anchor tools, including how they may create a supportive and caring school climate while also teaching emotional intelligence to students and adults. 

    The RULER Skills include:

    • Recognizing emotions in oneself and others
    • Understanding the causes and consequences of emotions
    • Labeling emotions with accurate words
    • Expressing emotions differently depending on context, and
    • Regulating emotions with helpful strategies

    The RULER Anchors tools include:

    • The Charter for building and sustaining positive emotional climates
    • The Mood Meter for enhancing emotion skills
    • The Meta-Moment for responding to triggers with the one’s “best self,” and
    • The Blueprint for reflecting on and resolving conflict
    • The training includes skill-building activities, as well as provides information and planning time on implementing RULER. The individuals who attend the training at Yale will become the school’s or district’s RULER Implementation Team and will lead RULER rollout in their school or districthttp://ei.yale.edu/ruler/staff-development/

    1