RULER measures emotions

Jackson Lavell-LeeBusselton Dunsborough Times
Callum Powell 6, Oakie Allen 6 and Ella Castle 6 from vasse Primary demonstrate the ruler emotions charts
Camera IconCallum Powell 6, Oakie Allen 6 and Ella Castle 6 from vasse Primary demonstrate the ruler emotions charts Credit: Jackson Lavell-Lee/Jackson Lavell-Lee

Vasse Primary School is the first regional WA school to trial a Yale University emotional training program called RULER.

RULER stands for the process of Recognising, Understanding, Labelling, Expressing, and Regulating emotions.

According to Yale, RULER enhances self and social awareness supporting the development of “emotion vocabulary” to help student develop a range of strategies for regulating emotion.

Vasse Primary School teacher Janine Shaw said she used the program’s methods every morning and throughout the day to help create a positive environment in her classroom.

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“We did a lot of research before implementing this program,” she said.

“We wanted this to become a cultural infusion in our school, a life skill that helped kids cope in different situations.

“Even as adults we have a very limited vocabulary to explain our emotions. Teaching kids to describe their emotions is very powerful. Students can describe how they want to feel at school.”

In class, students are asked to describe their emotions via a wall of emotional verbs, which are scaled from unpleasant to pleasant.

Students are encouraged to become comfortable with the emotion by explaining their reactions to certain circumstances.

Ms Shaw said the program provided the foundation to equip the next generation with the tools to cope with emotional, behavioural and mental health issues.

“Our biggest goal is to keep in contact with our emotional wellbeing and that will have a flow on effect to our mental wellbeing,” she said.

“There is strong data that suggests if kids don’t feel emotionally secure then it affects every other part of their world — decision-making, academics and relationships.”

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