Did you know that a child’s ability to handle frustration, control emotions, and get along with others is a better predictor of success than IQ? Fortuntely, EQ can change and increase with practice, unlike IQ, which tends to stay the same throughout life.

What are the skills children need to navigate the complexity of their lives now and through adulthood? Academic skills are essential, however, there are key social emotional skills they also need, IQ Meets EQ (better Together).

In This blog, I’m going to share with you the evidence why Social Emotional Learning is critical to implement in EVERY School for children’s success in School, Work & in Life.

What Is Social Emotional Learning/Emotional intelligence (SEL/EQ) 

EQ is the ability to identify and manage your own emotions and the emotions of others, in short, “Emotional intelligence” means being smarter with feelings and allows us to make good decisions and work well with others. It includes specific, learnable, measurable skills. Social Emotional Learning (SEL) is used interchangeably with Emotional intelligence (EQ), in the educational field.

According to the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL), a researched based organization committed to establishing high-quality, evidence-based social and emotional learning (SEL) as an essential part of preschool through high school education, SEL is “the process through which children and adults understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.”  Principals of Emotional Intelligence!

Click the link below to watch a video from Joshua Freedman on how to create a more emotionally intelligent future… we need to grow and practice our EQ skills as educators. It’s the essential ingredient for social emotional learning.



The development of social and emotional as well as cognitive skills has been called “the missing link” in school leaders’ preparation (Patti,Senge, Madrazo, & tern, 2015). 

The research and the voices of teachers across the country shows that social and emotional learning (SEL) can help to solve key national challenges related to our education and workforce
readiness. Teachers believe Social and Emotional Learning help students achieve in School, Work, and in Life. They are asking Schools to make SEL a priority.

Click Link Below to read report:


The World Economic Forum has identified EQ as one of the critical skills for the future workforce. Click Link Below to read report:

http://Read more from a 2016 congressional briefing http://www.casel.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Sept.-14-2016-Congressional-Briefing-on-SEL-and-Employability-Skills.pdf


Why does emotional intelligence matter in education? SEL is critical to implement in Schools.. The verdict is in check out the results!

There have been hundreds of academic studies linking SEL to improved learning outcomes and better school climate. A landmark review (pdf) of over 213 social and emotional learning interventions including over 270,034 kindergarten through high school students found that those students who receive SEL instruction not only had more positive attitudes about school, they also improved an average of 11 percent on standardized achievement tests compared to students who did not receive such instruction. Fewer disruptive behaviors and improved attitudes and behaviors of reduced reports of depression, stress, and anxiety from students and counselors.

The Urgency of SEL Today

SEL has always been part of education, even in ancient Greece, philosophers taught about social and emotional skills as part of academic learning. As Plato wrote, “All learning has an emotional base.”

Social and emotional learning is learning about life and how to function as a member of society. Look no further than the evening news and the importance of integrating SEL becomes apparent. Classroom learning and management all begin with relationships. SEL is not reserved for special projects but woven into the daily culture of the classroom. When students lack social and emotional skills, they become disaffected and potentially disruptive.

Today, social emotional learning may be even more urgent.  There is overwhelming evidence that our children are facing major social, emotional and mental health obstacles to succeeding at school.

  • 21% of teens in the United States reported being bullied on school property 10.4% of teens reported being hurt by someone they were dating 17% of students had seriously considered suicide (CDC, 2013 Youth Risk Factors)
  • Adding to or exacerbating these problems is the issue of childhood stress, whether from conflict at home, peer pressure, grade pressure, or over-scheduling. Not only can this affect learning in the present, but sustained high levels of cortisol associated with stress can damage the hippocampus, an area of the brain responsible for learning and memory. These cognitive deficits can continue into adulthood (Childhood Stress and Development, CDC, 2008).
  • The aim of most SEL programs is to promote self-awareness, self- management, social-awareness, relationships and responsible decision-making skills and to improve student’s relationships to their school community and broader


What is EQ/SEL skills:

Emotional intelligence skills — developed through a process called “social emotional learning” (SEL).

SEL is promoted every day by educators and students as they focus on honing skills in core competencies and meeting the needs of community members so that they can function well together. Social and emotional learning in the classroom requires students to examine themselves and their connection to others in the classroom and in their greater community.

Studies suggest if we want many more children to lead fulfilling lives and productive lives it’s not enough for schools to focus on academics. One of the most powerful and cost effective interventions is to help children develop core social and emotional strengths in 5 core SEL competencies. (Casel 5 Competencies Model)

  • Self-Management fosters a means by which to balance emotions in the interest of making progress towards our goals. The ability to successfully regulate one’s emotions, thoughts, and behaviors in different situations — effectively managing stress, controlling impulses, and motivating oneself. The ability to set and work toward personal and academic goals.
  • Social Awareness helps us connect with and understand the people around us. The ability to take the perspective of and empathize with others, including those from diverse backgrounds and cultures. The ability to understand social and ethical norms for behavior and to recognize family, school, and community resources and supports.
  • Self-Awareness The ability to accurately recognize one’s own emotions, thoughts, and values and how they influence behavior. The ability to accurately assess one’s strengths and limitations, with a well-grounded sense of confidence, optimism, and a “growth mindset and self-science.”
  • Relationship Management guides effective interactions with others to make a greater impact.  The ability to establish and maintain healthy and rewarding relationships with diverse individuals and groups. The ability to communicate clearly, listen well, cooperate with others, resist inappropriate social pressure, negotiate conflict constructively, and seek and offer help when needed.
  • Responsible Decision-Making is the ability to make constructive choices about personal behavior and social interactions of the well-being of oneself and others. To make constructive choices about personal behavior and social interactions based on ethical standards, safety concerns, and social norms. The realistic evaluation of consequences of various actions, and a consideration of the well-being of oneself and others.

There is overwhelming evidence that our children are facing major social, emotional and mental health obstacles to succeed in school. Learning these 5 SEL core competencies improve students relationships to their School and community and broader world.


Why I created A Social Emotional Learning Program called Thrive In EQ to implement In Schools:

From my education and background experience working in Schools providing Speech and Language Therapy and Transition Career Services, it has led me on my own learning journey, to understand the “big picture” of what youth and Schools are facing today, that is, practicing and developing Emotional Intelligence (EQ) in School, at work & in life.

Stress, Anxiety and depression is on the rise, and it is growing. Not only with adults, but children and youth are struggling and don’t understand the link between their emotions and learning. It is affecting them in brutel ways, socially, emotionally and academically.

Schools with successful SEL programs are safe, engaging and well-managed environments where children can focus on learning. Teaching SEL reduces violence and conflict while creating an atmosphere of trust, engagement, and curiosity. SEL teaches action-based learning through student led activities, so kids have the opportunity to practice and strengthen their social skills and resilience skills and actively collaborate with one another.

Practicing EQ in School allows students to learn about emotions and how emotion’s help us make effective decision-making. Most of all, learn the importance of relationship management and empathy skills. Skills of EQ needed to be successful in School and life now through adulthood!

It’s no secret that SEL skills are critical for student’s success, but also the success of our Schools. Research tells us that SEL is a necessity and with that, students perform better academically. Without it, can result in students bringing disruption and anxiety into the classroom setting and in teachers being to depleted to model emotional wellness or inspire their students. So, I have dedicated my career to creating action step programs to put Emotional Intelligence into ACTION.

The journey has led me to create “Thrive In EQ” a Social-Emotional Learning Program and “Connect In EQ” a Peer Mentoring Program Mentoring program that puts Emotional Intelligence into action. Programs are integrated in the classrooms and throughout the school so kids can thrive emotionally, socially and academically.


What Is Thrive In EQ? A effective way to implement SEL In Schools:

Schools strive to build a strong academic foundation delivering an academic program to Improve intelligence Quotient (I.Q.). As you know, I.Q. alone does not prepare children and adults with 21st century skills to be successful in School, at work, and in life. To develop the whole child, we also need to improve Emotional intelligence (Emotional Quotient or E.Q.). To create a well-rounded education and effectively teach emotional intelligence, Schools implement Thrive In EQ, a Social-Emotional Learning Program.

Thrive in EQ is a Social Emotional Learning program that transforms schools to create an Emotionally Intelligent School culture by putting EQ into action. Assists teachers as changemakers and students as action takers. Delivers Schools a complete step by step SEL blueprint program in supporting students to be more effective by increasing emotional intelligence.

Partnership with School-family providing ongoing support through trainings, Workshops, Professional Development, insights, tips and tools of the 21st century skills to thrive in School, at work, and in life. Provides support using a simple and practical 3 step EQ model to put EQ into action. Creating an inclusive School culture on Respect, Grit, Responsibility, and Resiliency.

Integrates a weekly SEL lesson proven to increase academics and life success through neuroscience-informed principles to create a learning environment. Students actively practice EQ to learn skills of social skills, collaboration, self-awareness, emotional literacy and social problem-solving. Equips Schools to be more effective in elements of Social-emotional learning with essential EQ foundation in 3 key areas, EQ Development, Extend EQ into classrooms and Integrate EQ into the School.

To learn more information why Thrive In EQ is needed in Schools and how it is different than ther EQ/SEL Programs Click Link Below:


Engage, Reflect and Activate Self-Science Model

What Is A EQ/SEL Curriculum to integrate in classrooms and School?

I use and recommend the Self-Science EQ curriculum by Six Seconds. It is researched-based and aligned with common core standards and creates a School-wide culture of EQ. When effectively implemented, Self-Science creates a powerful shift because it provides a way for Students to come to that “aha moment” where they clearly see their own choices and the alternatives.

Self-Science curriculum is flexible, can be taught:

  • Weekly
  • Social Skills groups, lunch bunch groups, Peer Mentoring groups
  • Before or after School camps, clubs  or group
  • Incorporated into homeroom or advisory periods
  • Used within academic classes as supplemental lessons for all students to practice and learn
  • When Teachers are absent lessons are great for Subs to have and teach.

Self- Science teaches the science of ourselves. Students study relationships and to observe ourselves and our choices using the skills of the scientific method. Students will learn more about making positive decisions, communicating with peers, and managing stress.

The curriculum is unique, in that, its lessons are not lecture, but experimental based; its lesson framework is student centered, meaning students are actively participating, pose questions and create solutions to problems. Empowers students by giving them choices about emotions, what they, think, feel & do. Together Students and Teachers build awareness, optimism, collboration, humanism, which greatly reduces destructive behavior whicle also increasing academic performance.

In one study, 100% of the teachers said Self-Science increased cooperation and improved classroom relationships, 75% said after using the program, both violence and “put downs” decreased, plus students became more focused and their achievement improved.


What SEL/EQ program does your School have?  What do you love about it? What is something you wish the program can improve on? I’d love to hear your thoughts and feelings about Social Emotional Learning taught in Schools. Let’s keep keep this conversation going. Reply back…

Tabatha Marden (Social And Emotional intelligence Coach)




Tabatha Marden