How to make an elementary school student cry (video)

The next time you find yourself crying in the classroom, remember the words of one of your elementary school teachers. 

Carmelton High School principal Jennifer Johnson is a certified professional in emotional intelligence, or EI, and she’s got some very unique skills. 

Johnson was quoted in the Dallas Morning News last week saying that she’s used EI training to help her students become better communicators and better listeners. 

“My students know that their words are worth a thousand words, and their words can change the course of their lives,” Johnson said.

“They’re learning that if you have a hard time listening to someone, they’re going to listen to you.”

Johnson is a Certified Professional in Emotional Intelligence (CPEI) teacher.

“When students talk, they want to hear what they want and what they need,” she said. 

That’s why Johnson has trained her students to be more sensitive to emotions. 

So when students in Johnson’s classroom are in tears, it’s to show that they’re listening. 

Here’s how: “If a child is in a bad mood, they may say something, but then you can tell the student it was because of the emotional state of the teacher or their child,” Johnson explained.

“And I’ve had students cry when I’m crying.

It’s because they were in a situation where they weren’t listening.” 

To help students become more emotional learners, Johnson has created an emotional response test. 

The test consists of a list of questions that students can answer with a smile or a nod. 

Then the student must listen to a different answer to see how much the student is responding. 

For instance, if a student answers with a “sad face,” that means they are emotionally aware and have a negative emotion. 

If the student answers in the negative, they are not responding to the situation in a positive way. 

When a student is in the midst of a crying episode, Johnson said that they are most likely to respond with their body language. 

As the student listens to Johnson, she said that she makes the students feel as if they’re in control.

“If they don’t want to listen, I make them listen, so they can make choices for themselves,” Johnson added.

“I tell them to take a moment and make sure they’re not just talking, but they’re actually listening.”‘

I’m the mother of a child who will go through something that I’ve never seen’ The emotional response assessment is the first step to becoming an EI teacher. 

And Johnson says that she has students that are ready to learn to become professional listeners.

“It’s a big thing,” Johnson told the Dallas News.

“It’s the first time I’ve ever seen that, and I’m the mom of a little girl, and the other teachers are doing their best, too.” 

When Johnson is ready for her students, she will help them work through their emotions and learn to listen. 

In the video below, you can hear Johnson talking about her process. 

To learn more about EI and how to become an EOI teacher, click here. 


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