Emotional literacy is a pillar of the PBS experience. We embed teaching and learning about key social–emotional competencies throughout our daily routines and academic program with an intentional practice of our core values.
PBS is guided by several research-based models that are committed to understanding and honoring the development of children; these models include the Responsive Classroom approach, RULER from Yale’s Center for Emotional Intelligence, TOOLBOX from Dovetail Learning, and Zones of Regulation. We draw on the tools and strategies from these programs when supporting children to make positive choices for themselves and others as members of a school community.
All classrooms, from preschool through 5th grade, start the day with a Morning Meeting, during which students are guided to practice affirmative community participation through listening, sharing, and fun, collaborative activities. As students progress through their time at PBS, they take on additional leadership responsibilities during Morning Meeting, such as choosing the style of group greeting or modeling a new activity for their peers.
Emotional intelligence strategies don’t just live in the Morning Meeting, though. They are practiced and modeled throughout the day, all over campus – from recess, to math time, to after-school enrichment.
We believe that incredible educational possibilities happen when learning occurs in a caring, supportive, safe, and empowering setting. All adults in our community who interact with children are trained in both RULER and the Responsive Classroom approach and use these tools and strategies to communicate with children with a common language.
The school also ensures that regular parent-education opportunities are offered to help parents share in that common language. Marc Brackett, founding director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, has been to campus on several occasions to work with parents, faculty, staff, and students.