Emotional Intelligence: Preparing and Retaining Our Most Gifted Educators

Emotional Intelligence: Preparing and Retaining Our Most Gifted Educators

Stacy M. Lauderdale-Littin, Carol McArthur-Amedeo
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-5879-8.ch017
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Within the United States, almost 50% of teachers leave the field of education within the first five years. Teachers who remain in the field have been shown to be able to demonstrate career competency skills. These skills are related to emotional intelligence (EI), which refers to competencies in recognizing, managing, communicating, and understanding emotions in one's self and others. Previous literature suggests gifted students, due to specific characteristics associated with giftedness, struggle with EI, which impacts their ability to utilize the skills they have, including cognitive intelligence. For gifted individuals entering the field of education, difficulty with EI could potentially impact their ability to feel successful and remain in the field long term. This chapter provides information and resources related to meeting the emotional intelligence needs of gifted students in preservice teacher training programs.
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Gifted Teachers And Retention

Although high-quality or gifted teachers are defined differently in various studies, teachers who have higher levels of education, increased content knowledge, have obtained teaching certification status, and have scored well on Scholastic Aptitude Tests (or a related achievement test) can be considered the most highly effective and coveted teachers (Darling-Hammond, 1999; Henke, Chen, & Geis, 2000). Thus, these academic-related factors are being used to define gifted teachers within this chapter. Although these teachers are meeting student needs within the classroom, and are desired by employers, they are also the teachers who are most likely to leave the field of education (Falch & Strom, 2005). Their academic readiness is not sufficient for them to remain within the teaching profession and additional supports are needed within preservice teacher training programs.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Clinical Practice: Clinical practice was formerly referred to as full time student teaching. Clinical practice serves as the culminating field experience where teacher candidates assume more responsibility of the classroom, student learning, and assessment throughout the semester. Candidates are fully immersed in the classroom and school setting. By the end of the time in clinical practice, candidates should demonstrate their ability to lead student instruction, using the knowledge and skills gained as part of their college coursework and prior experiences in the classroom.

Teaching Resources: Tools which can be utilized to foster student engagement, deliver instruction, and support student skill acquisition, and behavior reduction.

Emotional Intelligence: Emotional intelligence refers to skills in recognizing, managing, communicating, and understanding one’s own emotions, as well as the emotions of others.

Giftedness: Giftedness describes an exceptionally high level of ability in academic work, creative endeavors, or professional accomplishments.

Preservice Teacher Training: Preservice teacher training includes coursework and field experiences completed by candidates in teacher preparation programs while working toward certification.

Teacher Retention: Teachers remaining in the field of education.

Teaching Skills: Teaching skills are abilities teachers must develop in order to be successful in the field of education. These abilities include dispositions, emotional intelligence, classroom management, communication, content knowledge, and knowledge of curriculum and standards.

Dispositions: Dispositions encompass the personality traits and inclinations to work effectively with children in an academic setting. This includes the attitudes toward teaching and learning, the ability to collaborate with others, and professional behaviors that demonstrate a high level of ethics.

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