Modeling Emotional Regulation in the Classroom: Tips for Teachers and Leaders


Emotions are complex and multifaceted, and it’s no surprise that we all experience a diverse range on a daily basis. For teachers and school leaders, managing emotions is a crucial aspect of functioning well in the classroom, for both yourselves and your students. Emotional regulation is the ability to manage and control our emotions so that they don’t negatively impact our daily lives — an important skill in and out of the classroom.

What is Emotional Regulation?

Emotional regulation is the process of being aware of and managing our emotional states. It can be a challenging skill to master, as it often involves controlling the impulse to react to a situation. Emotionally regulated individuals tend to have stable and positive relationships and are able to communicate effectively in social situations. In a school setting, emotional regulation training can help educators manage stress levels, reduce cognitive fatigue, promote better decision-making and foster a positive working environment.

The Benefits of Emotional Regulation

There are several benefits of emotional regulation for educators and students. For teachers and school leaders, emotional regulation can help manage stress, prevent burnout, improve work relationships and create a supportive work environment. For students, emotional regulation can aid in managing anxiety, improving concentration, learning to self-regulate their emotions and developing resilience for the future.

How to Improve Your Emotional Regulation

Improving our emotional regulation skills takes time and practice. Here are steps educators can take to achieve this outcome:

Identify Triggers

Understanding our triggers is a crucial first step in learning how to manage our emotions. Keep a record of emotional triggers and situations that cause heightened anxiety or stress levels.


Take a regular time-out for self-reflection and think about what worked and what didn’t work when it comes to managing your emotional responses.

Identify Positive Coping Mechanisms

Invest in positive coping mechanisms that can help you manage stress and anxiety levels. This could be regular exercise, meditation, journaling or any other activities that promote well-being.

Seek Support

Don’t be afraid to seek support from a trained professional if you’re struggling to get on top of stress levels and emotional well-being.

Tips for Teachers and School Leaders

As a teacher or school leader, emotional regulation is pivotal in creating a positive and conducive work environment. Here are some tips for improving the emotional regulation of yourself and your learners.

Create a Safe Environment

Encouraging learners to share their feelings and emotions in a safe space is an effective way to promote emotional regulation skills.

Encourage Self-Reflection

Develop activities that prioritize self-reflection, encourage feedback from students and ensure that teachers model reflective practices.

Use Mindfulness

Incorporate mindfulness techniques into daily routines, such as breathing exercises or stretching, to help learners manage their emotions and regulate their behavior.

Emotional regulation is a crucial skill that can assist teachers and administrators in maintaining a positive school culture, strengthening relationships and improving academic results. By taking steps to improve your emotional regulation skills and incorporating activities that promote emotional regulation into daily routines, teachers and school leaders can create a learning environment where everyone can thrive.

About the Author

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AccuTrain serves thousands of K-12 educators each year with award-winning online resources, insight-filled professional development and engaging in-person events. Teachers and administrators can learn from thought leaders year-round by attending the Innovative Schools Summit and through interactive online training and on-site workshops that support positive behavior, build social emotional skills and improve academic outcomes.

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