A Visit from
Dr. Marc Brackett

May 18, 2016

Dr. Marc Brackett is the rare university professor who gets rock star treatment when he visits MMFS. As the person who helped create classroom charters, the Mood Meter, and the Meta-Moment–tools that are used throughout the elementary school–Dr. Brackett’s visit in April was replete with autograph signings and photo opportunities.

Director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence and founder of the RULER approach to social emotional learning, Dr. Brackett was in town for a PA-sponsored workshop for parents and educators and took the opportunity to visit the elementary school. As he toured the school, he was greeted by excited students and took time to appreciate the various classroom charters, mood meters and strategy walls, taking personal photos of student work throughout his visit.

RULER is an important part of our ongoing commitment to educating the whole child. Students in every class have worked their way through the four “anchors” of the program and are more and more adept at Recognizing, Understanding, Labeling, Expressing, and Regulating their emotions. This, in turn, helps them recognize the impact that their emotional state has on their school experience. As we move into the next school year, RULER will begin to include home-school connections, supporting family awareness and involvement so that families can also benefit from these tools.

During his visit, Dr. Brackett joined one classroom to see RULER in action and chat with students. The students, who were visibly excited all day for his afternoon visit, presented their individual mood meters and asked him to sign them! He was clearly touched when one student gave him a handmade book mark with a mini mood meter and the question, “How does this book make you feel?” Dr. Brackett clearly enjoyed speaking with students and they wowed him with their vocabulary and facility with all the elements of the RULER approach.

Dr. Brackett and RULER have clearly had a lasting impact on the students and the school community. During a recent Silent Meeting, students and faculty were invited to reflect on words in their classroom and faculty charters, and think about a time when they felt that way this school year. Here are a few responses:

I feel safe when we practice lockdown and fire drills.
I feel included when I ask friends if can join in their play and they say yes.
I feel proud when I make a basket from the top of the slide.
I feel excited during clubs.
I feel prepared when I am at my desk with my supplies and ready to learn.
I feel unified when we all work together and learn from each other.

This summer a few teachers will be attending the RULER Institute at Yale. In the fall we look forward to working with all of you to further build home-school connections where we all feel safe, included, proud, excited and prepared.

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