Hospital teachers work in a unique educational milieu that serves hospitalized children. In order to meet these children’s educational needs, teachers are expected to display high emotional abilities that will allow them to be creative, flexible and innovative, and able to work in distressing situations. For this reason a 30-hour Emotional Intelligence academic course for hospital teachers was developed and conducted, based on the revised theoretical framework of Mayer, Caruso & Salovey (2016). This mixed methods research study examined 50 hospital teachers who participated in this 10-week course, using a pre- and post-questionnaire, focus groups, semi-structured interviews and a final paper with a reflective summary. All training materials and examples were geared towards working with hospitalized children.
Findings indicated an overall increase in the ability of hospital teachers to identify, understand and regulate their emotions from the beginning to the end of the training. Further results indicated that teachers felt the course increased their emotional self-awareness and understanding of emotions, as well as empathic feelings towards their students. In addition, they felt that the course was too short, and that they needed more practice in order to master these emotional abilities. This research contributes to the growing literature on the importance of Emotional Intelligence skills in teachers, and specifically in teachers who work in hospitals and other special education settings.
Mayer, J. D., Caruso, D. R., & Salovey, P. (2016). The ability model of emotional intelligence: Principles and updates. Emotion Review, 8(4), 290–300. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/1754073916639667