Ernie Mendes PD Reflection

This past week, we had the chance to hear Ernie Mendes, “an organizational psychologist and specializes in the art and science of Emotional Intelligence” ( During the professional development session, we heard about various strategies that help us work with challenging students. Here are some of my main takeaways from the day:

  • Emotions drive our behavior and our motivation
  • I never have all the information
    • learner vs knower – there are both in every interaction
    • curiosity matters especially when we use it to become the learner and help us connect with the knower
  • When teaching self-regulation, be the person who has a relationship with the learners and help model what self-regulation look likes
    • Mendes modeled the example of having one place in the classroom where he would go to redirect himself which helped model calming strategies and routines that students can use when they too are feeling uneasy
  • Connect before you redirect by saying, “I can see that you are really ______. What would you like to do now?” Asking this validates how the learner is feeling and creates an opportunity for them to have a choice in resolving the conflict or discuss what it is that has been happening with the learner.
  • “If you can name it, tame it.” When we can name our emotions, that is the start of being able to also manage them and work to find that calm again.
  • The Total Truth Process is a way of writing down, recording using Voice Memos, or drawing out all of the emotions we feel while putting a cause to them and working to find a solution to moving forward. During this time, Mendes shared letters from students who had completed this activity and they explained each of the following emotions in those letters:
    1. Anger & Resentment
    2. Hurt
    3. Fear
    4. Remorse & Accountability
    5. Wants
    6. Compassion, Forgiveness, & Appreciation
  • STOP acronym for finding calm:
    • Stop
    • Take a slow, deep breath
    • Observe what is happening in you and around you
    • Proceed to do what is needed

At the beginning of the presentation, Mendes encouraged everyone to come up with a mission statement that describes what we do every day. I wonder how our mission statements have changed over the years and what they are now because of the strategies and resources people like Ernie Medes are sharing!

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